Meeting on Emerging Philanthropy

Written by Fulbright on 05/05/2014. Posted in News

Meeting on Emerging Philanthropy

Fulbright Specialist Jon Van Til‘s (’10 ELTE) inaugural lecture, University of Jewish Studies, Budapest

The meeting was convened by Dr. Zoltan Haberman, who welcomed the attenders and introduced Prof. Van Til. Van Til presented a lecture, the notes for which are attached to this memo. The presence of Judith Komoly, Vice-Rector of the University of Jewish Studies, was warmly acknowledged. In the lecture, Van Til indicated the importance in developing, in Hungary and elsewhere,
1) Emerging Philanthropy;
2) A truly Independent Third Sector; and
3) A civil culture within civil society organizations.

A lively and productive workshop followed the lecture, attended by ten participants from the earlier session. Fulbright Scholar Prof. Elemer Boreczky recalled the use of public arts in Philadelphia to advance the cause of intergroup understanding and diversity. Prof. Gabor Hegyesi noted the invitation in the lecture to discuss the development of a research and applied educational focus at the Jewish University that might advance the goals described in the lecture. Dr. Haberman mentioned the emergence of the group “Memento70”, aiming to raise philanthropic resources required by the Jewish community’s refusal to accept public funding, in light of its opposition to the proposed monument to the German occupation of Hungary in 1944.

Discussion then focused on modes of public research that might bring light to the significance of this emerging movement within the Hungarian Jewish and other communities in opposition to the construction of the monument. Since this case is receiving world-wide attention, development of an academic case study would appear as a priority.

The possible convening of a quickly-organized “quasi-flash” conference was also discussed, and this idea will be presented by members of our group to the Tranzit organization.

Contributions to the workshop were also received from returned Fulbright Scholars such as Prof. Ágnes Kövér (’98 New York University), Prof. Ágnes Boreczky (’00 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), and Krisztina Tury (’12 Maxwell School of Syracuse University), economist Dr. Eva Kuti, journalist and author Gergely Nagy, and ELTE student Denes Domjan.

Dr. Haberman and Prof. Van Til were asked by the group to confer following the session and to convene, if possible, a follow-up meeting where these matters of enhancing philanthropy and civil society might be further discussed and effectively advanced.