The mission and main projects of the Association
A cultural organization, the mission of the Esther’s House Association is to foster and propagate those values of Jewish women for which culture is the most obvious medium. It aims to sensitize Hungarian society to specific problems that Jewish women face as Jews among women in general and as women in the Jewish community. One of the Association’s priorities is to help Holocaust survivors, their children and grandchildren to share with society their traumatic experiences in conversations or by putting their reflections on paper.
We give a broad interpretation to being Jewish: it is a religion, an affiliation to a nation or an ethnic group, identification with a tradition, being a member of community of shared experiences, belonging to a culture, or having a specific approach to life. In the same vein, we define feminism broadly: we consider women or men feminists if they recognize gender differences, the fact that women’s experiences and ways of self-expression can differ from those of men, and who, therefore, regard that specific, women’s culture worthy of study and being of equal value with men’s culture, which some see as “universal”.
Being Jewish feminists, we consider as our fundamental ideals, and wish to propagate and win acceptance for, equal opportunities, social justice and solidarity. To attain those aims our Association is engaged in education, the propagation of culture, and pursuing research and artistic activities.
- Book presentations Katalin Pécsi, ed.: Elmeséletlen női történetek Part 1 and 2: Sós Kávé; Salty Coffee; Salziger Kaffe; Lányok, anyák; Judith Magyar Isaacson: Köszönet az életért; Aranka Siegal: Bűnbakok.
- Organizing seminars, round table talks and conferences: (inter alia: Holocaust Literature, Free Seminar, 2011-2012, Balint Jewish Community Center, Trauma and its consequences, Balint Jewish Community Center, 2013, EszterHáz Book Club, Balint Jewish Community Center, 2014-2015
- Presentations at conferences and workshops in Hungary and abroad: inter alia: Women in Hungarian Zionist resistance (Berlin, Florida /USA, Warsaw, Limmud Conference Budapest, John Wesley College: From Kamenets-Podolsky to Auschwitz – conference on the Holocaust; Holocaust narratives of Jewish women: Wallenberg Association, University of Jewish Studies, Budapest, Alexandra Book Store etc.
- Organizing exhibitions: (“…staying together…”: itinerant exhibition in Hungarian, German and English, covering personal stories of Hungarian women who survived the Holocaust: Berlin: GDW-International Auschwitz Committee); Budapest: Israeli Cultural Institute, Secondary school of the German National Minority in Hungary, John Wesley Teacher Training College, Saarlouis: State Secondary School, Auschwitz: Youth Visitor Center)
- Book club: Jews, Women – Jewish Women, Balint Jewish Community Center, 2014-2015
- Research: Interviews about the lives of woman Zionists who participated in the resistance movement; location of interviews: Israel, 2010, 2013
- International relations: The Esther’s House Association is a Hungarian member organization of the International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW)
When publishing books, organizing exhibitions and doing research, the Esther’s House Association has been cooperating with the foundation called Memorial Sites of German Resistance and the International Auschwitz Committee.