From SZOMBAT’s English pages:
SZOMBAT („Shabbat”) is a Jewish political and cultural magazine. After the first issue came out in November 1989, it has been published without interruption, ten times a year. When starting the magazine, the editors decided to deal with all facets of Jewish life, presenting all trends of Jewry (religious, popular, cultural, national-Zionist) to the Hungarian Jewish community that had lived in isolation, being separated from the main centers of Jewish life.
Right from the beginning, the editorial board of SZOMBAT has had the aim to dissipate the lack of information, which can be seen everywhere: the wider Hungarian public does not know the Jewish community, its opinions are often shackled by ancient fallacies, once dormant, but “resurrected” by an anti-Semitism reborn after 1990. This is the reason why our magazine is also meant for the wider Hungarian public. We not only try to present the Jewish community living in this country, but also show how individual events in Hungary and the world are being seen with local Jewish eyes.
At the same time, we make continuous efforts to describe the developments in the Jewish world to the Jews living in Hungary – who often look at these with suspicion –, to publish various points of view and to make room for disputes. Our objective is to become an information center, allowing both the members of the community and the outsiders to get acquainted with wildly differing views and opinions that arise in the subject.
Our magazine, publishes two or three supplements every year, trying to deal with certain subjects in depth. The titles of such supplements were, among others: Jewish communities in central Europe; The past decade of Hungarian Jewish education; Women, Jews, feminists; Fifty years of Israel; Jewish literature in central-eastern Europe; Jewish publications in Hungary; Jews and communism; Jews and conservatism.
In order to fulfill the manifold tasks outlined above, SZOMBAT from time to time oversteps the narrow borders of a magazine, and ventures into other areas like the organization of symposiums or sociological research work, or the publication of its own books. For example, we published a volume, both in Hungarian and German, on our 1996 series of scientific lectures titled The forms of existence of Hungarian Jewish literature. In 1998, we organized a three-day conference with the title Jewish destinies in Hungarian films, where movies were performed and lectures were held, the content of which was summarized in a book titled Minarik, Sonnenschein and the others…. Using the same method a year later we organized a symposium on the history of Hungarian theater. We also published a special issue titled Young Hungarian writers on Jewry, and organized an evening debate in the Hall of Arts, one of the greatest exhibition halls in Budapest and a conference on New Anti-Semitism.
SZOMBAT has also conducted several sociological surveys. The first research work dealt with Jewish schools. Within the framework of further research work conducted by SZOMBAT, the one decade long history of the largest domestic alternative Jewish organization, the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association was examined. At present, our sociological work focuses on a third subject, namely the later career of the graduates of Jewish schools: how can they „use” the skills and knowledge they have acquired, what is their relationship as young adults to Jewish tradition and the Jewish community.