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First bar mitzvah in centuries celebrated at reopened Budapest shul

(JTA) — A synagogue that was returned recently to Hungarian Jews following centuries of disuse hosted its first bar mitzvah in 332 years.

The young celebrant, Yonatan Sebok, had his rite of passage event on Jan. 26 at the Buda Castle Synagogue, which reopened in September, the website reported Wednesday.

The first Jewish wedding held there in centuries is in the planning stages, according to the report.

The Buda Castle Synagogue used to be a Jewish museum. Government authorities signed it over to EMIH, the Chabad-affiliated federation of Jewish communities in Hungary. President János Áder attended the Sept. 6 reopening.

The synagogue’s remains were discovered in 1964. It had been ruined in 1686 by Christian fighters who took over what is now Budapest from the Ottoman Empire. Today it is one of a handful of synagogues in Buda. Separated from Pest by the Danube River, the two parts make up the Hungarian capital.