October 2000

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					June 2008                                                                                      Vol. 16, No. 1

                        “HUNGARIAN AMERICANS TOGETHER”
                              Summary of Presentations
                                            April 19, 2008

A seminar entitled “Hungarian Americans
Together” gave an overview of educational and
                                                      Dear Reader:
cultural programs of eleven organizations of the
Hungarian American community. The seminar             On April 18, 2008, the Hungarian American
and discussion took place at the Kossuth House,       Coalition honored Prof. August J. Molnar, President
Washington, DC.                                       of the American Hungarian Foundation, at a Gala
The seminar’s featured speaker was Professor          dinner in Washington DC.
August Molnar from the American Hungarian
                                                      When planning for this event earlier this year, the
Foundation. The participating organizations and       Coalition’s Board decided to hold a half-day
their representatives were the following:             seminar entitled “Hungarian Americans Together,”
   Dr. Róbert Gábriel and Ms. Gyöngyi Pozsgai        an opportunity for Prof. Molnar to present a more
    from the University of Pécs, Hungary;             comprehensive presentation of AHF’s work over
                                                      the past 50 years and share his vision on the future
   Mr. Zsolt Szekeres from the Hungarian             of Hungarian American organizations.
    American Coalition;
                                                      We invited many other organizations, asking them
   Mr. Imre Lendvai-Lintner from the Hungarian       to give a brief presentation on their activities, and
    Scout Association in Exteris;                     time permitting, to exchange ideas on the future of
                                                      Hungarian American organizations. During the
   Mrs. Andrea Lauer Rice from Lauer Learning,       seminar, given the number of presentations, we
    LLC;                                              could not devote enough time to this important
   Mr. Laszlo Megyeri from the Hungarian             discussion. However, the participants agreed that a
    Reformed Federation of America;                   follow-up meeting to discuss the future of
                                                      Hungarian American organizations should be
   Messrs. Zoltan Bugnyar and David Lantos           organized in the near future.
    from the Calasanctius Foundation;
                                                      This Newsletter summarizes the presentations and
   Mr. Zsolt Szekeres from Hungarian Human           directs the reader to the full texts of the materials.
    Rights Foundation;                                We will distribute the publication to all who would
                                                      like to participate in a follow-up meeting, and also
   Mr. Balazs Somogyi from the Hungarian
                                                      to our membership, who I am sure will find many
    Cultural Society of Connecticut;                  interesting programs that can help them in their
   Mr. Zoltan Bagdy from American Hungarian          work to keep and develop our rich Hungarian
    Federation;                                       American cultural heritage.

   Messrs. William Bero and William Vasvary                                            Maximilian Teleki
    from the William Penn Association.                                                          President
         American Hungarian Foundation                     Hungarian language classes here and numerous
       Remarks by August J. Molnár, President              receptions. We receive several delegations from
                                                           Hungary and important leaders such as Ibolya David,
      Founded in 1954, the American Hungarian              President of the Hungarian Democratic Forum and
Foundation is devoted to furthering the understanding      others.
and appreciation of the Hungarian cultural and
historical heritage in the United States. Through               Unfortunately, our membership declines by about
grants,    special   events,    lectures,  educational     500 a year while we gain only 150 new members per
scholarships, and exhibitions, the American Hungarian      year. Twenty years ago, we had 40,000 members. So,
Foundation supports students and educational               we need to reverse this membership decline. Our
institutions.   During the past five decades, the          insurance products are good. For example our juvenile
Foundation has promoted fellowships, scholarships,         term policy is only $17.50 per year for $10,000.
publications, research, and educational programs. It       Where can one get $10,000 worth of assets for only
has been instrumental in establishing several academic     $17.50? Please contact me and join our Federation so
programs focusing on Hungarian studies, such as the        that we can survive for another 100 years.
Institute for Hungarian Studies at Rutgers - The State
University of New Jersey.                                       For    more      information,    please     visit:
     The Foundation's mission is to communicate the
story of American Hungarians through the facilities of         Hungarian Cultural Society of Connecticut
the Hungarian Heritage Center, which is the only                Remarks by Dr. Balazs Somogyi, President
Hungarian research center of its type in the United
States. The traditions and contributions of American             The Wallingford Hungarian Reading Circle was to
Hungarians are documented and preserved as important       become the forerunner of the Hungarian Cultural
collections and shared with the general public. As a       Society of Connecticut (HCSC). Beginning in the mid-
premier institution for Hungarians in the United States,   seventies, members of he Circle started to meet at
the Heritage Center provides space and equipment for       monthly intervals. We congregated regularly to read
the proper display and use of the Foundation's rich and    together in a group setting: some members were better
diverse collections. The Center's main areas are: the      at it than others, but good camaraderie and good will
Museum; the Library of more than 60,000 volumes, the       always prevailed.
Archives; and the Museum Gift and Craft Shop.
Additional space within the facility provides for              In July of I989, our organization was registered
meetings and small conferences, research and reading,      with the State of Connecticut, as the Hungarian
special exhibits, and community service groups.            Cultural Society of Connecticut.
     For    more     information,       please    visit:        We had provided assistance, frequently in an “ad                                hoc” fashion, to construction projects of churches,
                                                           kindergartens, schools and colleges in Transylvania,
    Hungarian Reformed Federation of America               Slovakia and Trans-Carpathia. We had also initiated
        Remarks by Leslie Laszlo Megyeri,                  financial support of the Posonium Publishing House in
               Secretary/Treasurer                         Pozsony. We had succeeded in installing 100 parabolic
                                                           antenna systems in remote Hungarian communities of
     Let me say a few words about our Hungarian            Transylvania and the Partium, in order to provide the
Reformed Federation of America located in this             means for members of these communities to enjoy the
building. We are a fraternal life insurance society over   broadcasts by Duna Televizio.
112 years old. Our Charter was signed by President
Teddy Roosevelt. We are a $20 million tax exempt                By the early part of the new century, we had
society with about 12,000 members. Our purpose is to       become more focused in our charitable activities: we
maintain and support the religious, cultural and           had realized that promoting educational endeavors was
language tradition of Hungarians in America. The           to become our most important objective. Accordingly,
funds we generate from the sales of our life insurance     in 2003 we established a system of educational grants
and annuity products we use to support ethnic              for Hungarian high school students in Transylvania and
Hungarian churches, clubs, and scholarships. We host       the Partium.      A year ago, we initiated a new

2 – June 2008 – Hungarian American Coalition
scholarship program in Trans-Carpathia, also.                    Over the past 100 years, AHF’s mission has
Presently we sponsor one hundred high school students       broadened to include support of people of Hungarian
in five secondary schools in Arad, Nagyvarad, Nagy-         descent on both sides of the Atlantic and in the successor
Karoly and Segesvar. Our support of Trans-Carpathian        states of the Carpathian Basin. The American Hungarian
students is in its infancy, at present; we have             Federation strives to unite the American Hungarian
established five educational grants at the Szent Istvan     community through work that supports common goals.
Liceum of Beregszasz. We continue to provide                AHF is a national, non-partisan, independent umbrella
operational support of the venerable Teleki-Bolyai          organization representing the interests of its member
Library of Marosvasarhely, on a regular basis.              organizations and the Hungarian American community.

                                                                  AHF addresses a broad array of issues and
     We were happily dedicated in initiating the
                                                            initiates/participates in a number of projects – both public
ultimately successful drive to save the Hungarian
                                                            policy and community oriented projects. AHF publicly
Community Club of Wallingford Over the decades.             speaks up about various issues of concern to the
This Hungarian House, established in 1924 has served        community, for example, statements and press releases
as a meting place for interested Hungarians.                and other informational pieces published recently about
                                                            the Benes Decrees, the Bolyai University matter, the
      We have come to realize that even a small but         October 2006 demonstrations in Budapest, etc. AHF’s
cohesive group of dedicated individuals possesses the       website supports these proclamations and serves as an
ability and tools to create accomplishments of lasting      informational conduit to its members and interested
significance.                                               Hungarians. AHF engaged in debates involving key
                                                            public policy issues, such as democracy and security in
     For    more       information,     please     visit:   Central and Eastern Europe, and reaches out to opinion                                          and decision makers.          The Federation also hosts
                                                            community events, such as the October 2006
                                                            commemoration of the 1956 Revolution at the Cosmos
                                                            Club; Congressional receptions; Memorial Day
        American Hungarian Federation                       commemorations at Arlington Cemetery (including the
 Remarks by Zoltán Bagdy, Chairman of the Cultural          wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier); and
                    Committee                               the well received Darr Mine commemoration in
                                                            Pennsylvania. The Federation presents the Michael
     The American Hungarian Federation (AHF) is a 100-      Kovats Award annually to those who made exceptional
year old Hungarian organization, founded in 1906 in         contributions to Hungarian causes; one of the recipients in
Cleveland, Ohio. One of the most influential Hungarian-     the past was the late Congressman Tom Lantos. The
American umbrella organizations in the United States,       Federation maintains a very popular web-site, which
AHF is also among the oldest ethnic organizations in the    receives several thousands of hits every month,
country. AHF was established as an association of           originating both in the U.S., and abroad. Federation
Hungarian societies, institutions and churches to “defend   members also engage in distinct projects, such as Bela
the interest of Americans of Hungarian origin in the        Bognar’s scholarship program for Hungarian students
United States.” We are a non-profit, 501(c) (3) group.      from Erdely, Felvidek, and Vajdasag.              Promoting
                                                            democracy, human and minority rights is one of the key
     AHF’s original mission was: “ direct immigrants   programs of the Federation.
of Hungary into such parts of this country where they are
mostly needed; to further the cultural development of           AHF is on record for supporting far greater
Americans of Hungarian birth or descent; to spread the      cooperation and coordination among Hungarian American
knowledge of American institutions among them, so as to     organizations on matters of mutual concern.
further their Americanization; to give material and moral
aid to those who need it; to get free legal advice aid to        AHF believes that in order to accomplish this goal:
American-Hungarians without means; to promote cordial       (a) future meetings should be open to all legitimate
commercial relations between this country and Hungary;      organizations; (b) hosted by all participants, instead of
to defend the good name and reputation of Hungary           under the auspices of a single organization; (c) be
against attacks and defamations; and to organize branches   organized after potential participants are consulted in
for the purpose of accomplishing the several aims of the    advance of the meetings.
Federation.” But with the tragic events unfolding in
Europe in WWI, WWII, and then again in 1956, AHF’s                For   more     information,      please         visit:
mission evolved.                                  

                                                                         Hungarian American Coalition – June 2008 – 3
      Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris                        Continued leadership training
     Remarks by Imre Lendvai-Lintner, President                     Maintaining        our      existing  events,
                                                                     infrastructure, spirit and morale
    The mission of Scouting is the education of young               Maintaining the language skills of members
people and to help build a better world.                            Expand the use of computer based
                                                                     information exchange
     We see Scouting as a global movement, making a
real contribution to creating a better world; as an
                                                                 “We must learn, and most importantly teach the
influential, value-based educational movement; as
                                                            next generations, that making sacrifices for our nation
attracting and retaining more and more young people;
                                                            is not a unique task, but is an inseparable calling and
as attractive to adults, women and men, in all cultures;
                                                            obligation. He who lives in a community, owes the
as a dynamic, innovative movement.
                                                            community work and responsibility” Márton Áron
      The goals of Hungarian scouting is to train youths
                                                                 For    more     information,      please     visit:
with high integrity, religious convictions, healthy both
in body and soul, prepared for life both on an
intellectual as well as a practical plane, ready to serve
the Hungarian nation and their local communities.
                                                                     Calasanctius Training Program
    We can be proud of several of our achievements,
                                                                Remarks by Zoltan Bugnyar and David Lantos
such as: our ecumenical approach; Jamborees; and the
Teleki Legacy: our scout program based on the Bible              The mission of the Calasanctius Training Program
and Hungarian culture.                                      (CTP) is to contribute to the professional and moral
                                                            education of young, talented Hungarian Christians who
    At present we have 70 troops in 50 communities
                                                            already are or have the potential to become community
in 11 countries on 4 continents with approximately
                                                            and business leaders in their society.
4000 members.
                                                               Founded in 1994 by Dr. Peter Forgach
     The scouts believe in their obligations toward
God, country, fellow man and the Hungarian nation.             Enables graduate studies in the US for selected
We hold all our activities in Hungarian, including our          Hungarian students
extensive leadership training program.                         150+ Hungarian students have conducted studies
                                                                through CTP
Educational Programs
     Since 2000 a 3-week tour in Hungary for 20               Main focus is on Business (M.B.A.) and
        patrol leaders (1 week Budapest, 1 week                 Communications/Media
        canoeing on the Danube, 1 week bicycle
        tour);                                              6 Key Activities:
     Since 2002 a high school program for up to                (1) Raise funds
        one year in 8 Hungarian high schools for
        Hungarians from the West;                               (2) Select candidates
     Since 2001 the Balassi Bálint Institute                   (3) Secure scholarships
        sponsors 30 scholarships for a year of
        Hungarian language and cultural training;               (4) Manage US studies
     Since 1960 we sponsor scout leader                        (5) Build alumni network
        exchanges sending our leaders to training
                                                                (6) Share knowledge
        camps as trainers and educators.
                                                            Hungarian Peace Corp
Challenges for the Future
     Founding new troops in Orlando, Denver and                CTP alumni started a Peace Corp initiative in
        Detroit                                             Csángó-land (Romania). Volunteers go for 6-12
     Recruiting new members, integrating new               months to teach Hungarian in an underdeveloped
        arrivals from the Carpathian basin

4 – June 2008 – Hungarian American Coalition
region. CTP covers their cost of living through                   2nd generation Hungarian-Americans
sponsors.                                                          o Build on traditions
                                                                   o Educate them along with their kids
     For    more      information,        please     visit:        o Create easy ways to help them pass it on to                                                  their children
                                                                  Young 3rd generation Hungarian-Americans
              Lauer Learning, LLC                                  o Expose them from a young age
   Remarks by Andrea Lauer Rice, CEO & Founder                     o Use tools and new media they are interested
     Lauer Learning creates multimedia educational                 o Find ways to directly expose them
tools to teach about language, culture and history.               Non-Hungarian spouses
                                                                   o Find ways to engage them, involve them in
     Products to reach out to Hungarian Americans:                     the community
      oral history
         website                                              The Gulyas Pot Online Community
      online community                   Wiki site - resources, community news
      R/W/G bracelets                                         Hungarian American history area - user-generated
      Postcards with Hungarian American quiz                     content that can be shared across the community
         (HCGA)                                                Social networking site for Hungarian Americans
      1956 “Exhibit in a box”                                 Use resources that already exist, just provide a
      1956 Products                                              new and different channel for wider distribution
The Pass it on… Project                                           In the future we plan to create multi-generational
                                                              Educational Tools, such as: “Kis Majom” DVD;
    How do we ensure that Hungarian ethnicity is              “ABCs and 123s of Hungary” book; and a multi-
passed on to future generations?                              generational cookbook.
 Specific to the HA community: Each time the
    Census is tabulated, we lose people who claim                 You can help with this project by: joining
    they are ethnic Hungarian.                       network and contribute in whatever
 Of the 1.4 M Hungarian-Americans, less than 10%             way you can.
    speak the language.
 General trends: Without a strong tie and                         For    more    information,          please     visit:
    reinforcement, strength of ethnicity is diluted over
                                                                         Hungarian American Coalition
      The goal is to create a strategy that will reverse               Remarks by Zsolt Szekeres, Treasurer
this trend – specifically targeting “at-risk” groups - 2nd,
3rd & 4th generation Hungarian Americans with limited             The Hungarian American Coalition has two main
language skills and no community infrastructure.              educational and cultural programs, which are the
Additional goals are:                                         Congressional Internship Program and the Dr. Elemer
       Create new ways to reach out to the                   and Eva Kiss Scholarship Fund.
          community - especially the youth
       Determine the most effective ways to                  Congressional Internship Program
          strengthen ethnicity
       Focus on “at-risk” groups                                  This program was established to allow young
       Look at existing programs we can model                Hungarian Americans and English-speaking, well-
                                                              qualified Hungarians from Hungary and the
       Create community projects that we can all
                                                              neighboring countries to get acquainted with the
          become involved in
                                                              workings of the U.S. Congress and to motivate them
       High-level awareness to reach “lost”
                                                              for public service in their respective places of origin, as
          Hungarian Americans
                                                              well as to provide opportunity to build contacts in the
                                                              US in their professional areas of expertise.
Targeting “at-risk” communities - Expose, engage,
educate, evolve!

                                                                           Hungarian American Coalition – June 2008 – 5
    The Coalition’s Internship grant covers living               The university has the following agreements with
expenses and local transportation expenses in the           US universities and institutions: Ohio University,
Washington, DC area for the duration of the internship.     University of Arizona, San Diego State University,
                                                            State University of New York at Oswego, Florida State
Dr. Elemer and Eva Kiss Scholarship Fund                    University, Central Washington University, Texas
                                                            Tech University, University of Montana, Nazareth
     The Scholarship Fund was established in 1997 for       College. It also collaborates with US institutions, such
the purpose of providing partial annual scholarships to     as the Fulbright Commission and the Institute of
students to pursue studies at U.S. colleges and             International Education.
                                                                The university offers co-operation for US
     Applicants must be citizens of Hungary, or             universities and institutions in the following fields:
members of an ethnic Hungarian community in
Slovakia, Romania, Voivodina-Serbia or Ukraine; must        1.    Education. We have 1,400 international students
have gained admission as a full-time student to a US              in the 2007/2008 academic year, but only 25
college or university; in addition to other requirements.         students from the US. We would be happy to
                                                                  receive more US students. We can offer our
     The average Coalition Scholarship grant is $1,000            International Programs which are held in English:
per year.                                                         Degree programs, PhD programs, Study Abroad
                                                                  programs, Summer schools
     For     more      information,     please     visit:   2.    Research.     Basic and applied research is                                                 conducted in the following main disciplines: Life
                                                                  sciences and natural sciences, Social sciences,
                                                                  Engineering, Humanities. In the EU framework
                 University of Pécs                               we pursue research in: environmental laser
     Remarks by Professor Róbert Gábriel, Rector                  technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceutics.
                                                                  We have 21 doctoral degree programs.
     Pécs is located in the southern part of Hungary,       3.    Mobility: Student exchange with US partner
close to the Croatian border. The University of Pécs is           universities (San Diego State University - 10
located in a beautiful city with a Mediterranean                  exchange students per year; University of Arizona
climate.                                                          – Study Abroad collaboration; SUNY Oswego - 5
                                                                  exchange students per year; Central Washington
     The university was founded in 1367 – it is one of            University), teacher exchange, scholarship.
the oldest universities in Europe. It was established by
the Anjou king Louis the Great. The number of               4.    Culture. Special opportunity for collaboration:
students today is 34,000 making it the largest                    Pécs - European Capital of Culture 2010
university in Hungary. There are 1,400 foreign
students and 2,300 lecturers.                                    For    more                information,            please          visit:
    The university has a traditional structure of
European universities with 10 faculties, subdivided into
departments. It has a 24-year experience in offering a                    William Penn Association
degree program for international students in the                 Remarks by William Vasvary and William Bero,
English language.                                                             National Directors

     Among its more significant international activities          The society was formally organized as the
are the following: 77 bilateral agreements in 27            Verhovay Aid Association on February 21, 1886. The
countries worldwide for student exchange, teacher           aims and goals of the society were to provide a social
exchange, common research projects; organizing large        life for the area Hungarians and financially assist those
international events and conferences; participating in      coalminers of eastern Pennsylvania who became sick
Joint-Degree projects.                                      or disabled. We are a multi million dollar fraternal
                                                            society that is financially sound.

                                                            Newsletter Editor: János Szekeres, Graphic Designer: Ajna Pfenninberger.
                                                            We are grateful to all those who contributed articles or information to this
                                                            Newsletter. “Nothing printed here is to be construed as an attempt to aid or
6 – June 2008 – Hungarian American Coalition                hinder the passage of any legislation before the Congress of the United States.”
     We have four major fraternal events every year        HHRF became the only professional organization with
that raise money for our scholarship fund and give the     a full-time paid staff in the West, devoted to help
members a chance to get together: a bowling                Hungarian minorities in Central Europe to be heard
tournament dating back to 1942; a golf tournament          providing assistance through numerous educational.
started in 1983; we sponsor a Hungarian Heritage           cultural and advocacy programs.
Week at our property Penn Scenic View in Rockwood,
PA; and in September we have our annual Fraternal              HHRF´s main programs are the following:
Fest Picnic at Penn Scenic View where we share good
times, Magyar music and food while enjoying the great           The 785-member European Parliament (EP) was
outdoors.                                                  the forum which deliberated Romania's candidacy to
                                                           join the European Union.         With the Romanian
     Penn Scenic View is our 180 acre property that        Government spoon feeding the Parliamentarians with
has cabins, two lodges, a lake and a pavilion where our    false or incomplete information, it was essential to
members can come to relax and spend time with their        balance the propaganda with first-hand data from
family and friends.                                        Transylvania. Through its Kolozsvár, Romania office,
                                                           HHRF maintains close ties with the Hungarian
    All the proceeds from the activities mentioned         community, its leaders and institutions, and specializes
above have generated donations to our scholarship          in gathering and preparing steady streams of reliable
fund. Since 1972 we have given in excess of                information. HHRF approached key members of the
$2,000,000.00 to students attending college or culinary    EP Foreign Affairs Committee and provided them with
school.                                                    factual information.

     Our monthly publication, the William Penn Life,            After a new government was formed in Slovakia
has a circulation of 17,000 copies.                        in July 2006 with two extremist, openly anti-Hungarian
                                                           parties the situation for Hungarians has taken a sharp
    Two years ago the Association started selling a        turn for the worse. The most egregious human rights
new cookbook that also makes money for the                 violation occurred last summer when an ethnic
scholarship fund. To date this year the book has raised    Hungarian student, Hedvig Malina, was savagely
$10,000.00.                                                beaten for speaking her native language. HHRF issued
                                                           several reports to raise awareness of this ongoing
     Our Board of Directors is comprised of 14 people      injustice and to speak out on behalf of Ms. Malina.
who realize the importance of providing for its
members in a way that promotes financial security and           In addition to assuring that policymakers have up-
Hungarian culture. In the spirit of cooperation not        to-date, pertinent facts on the human rights condition of
competition we are ready to join in the effort to keep     Hungarian minorities, HHRF actively contributes to the
the Magyar lifestyle alive and well in the USA. We         cultural, educational and economic revitalization of
welcome any opportunity to share ideas, expand our         Central Europe's centuries-old Hungarian minority
membership and join with other Hungarian groups in a       communities.
united front beneficial to all.
                                                                HHRF maintains an Internet portal which today
     For    more     information,     please      visit:   hosts the homepages of 109 ethnic Hungarian                      newspapers,    schools,    NGOs       and religious
                                                           denominations in the Carpathian Basin.

       Hungarian Human Rights Foundation                        HHRF also has an internship and exchange
        Remarks by Zsolt Szekeres, Director                program, which brought 41 young people from all over
                                                           the world to its offices in New York and Budapest for
     The Hungarian Human Rights Foundation                 extended periods.
(HHRF), is a private, independent non-governmental,
501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in          For    more       information,     please     visit:
the State of New-York. Founded in 1976, originally as
Committee for Human Rights in Rumania, its main
mission was to combat the false propaganda of                                      * *** *
Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Over time

                                                                       Hungarian American Coalition – June 2008 – 7
                                    Join this growing network of organizations and individuals!

Individual membership                                 Organizational membership

Student         $25
Regular         $50 ($100 family)                     $200
Sponsor         $250 - $500                           $500 - $1000
Patron          $501 - $1000                          $1,001 - $2,500
Benefactor      $1,001 - $2,500+                      $2,501 - $5,000+

Non-membership contribution $ _____________________

Name (or organization): ________________________________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________

City: _______________________________ State: ________________________ Zip: ______________________

Phone: _______________          Fax: __________________         E-mail address: ___________________________

Please send this form with your annual membership fee to:

                                                                        Hungarian American Coalition
                                                                        1120 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 280
                                                                        Washington, DC 20036
                                                                        Tel: (202) 296-9505
                                                                        Fax: (202) 775-5175

Hungarian American Coalition
1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 280
Washington, DC 20036


                                         For the latest information on our Coalition, visit us at

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