Updates from the Foundation

Here are updates on two topics relevant to the Hungarian-American community in general, and to our Foundation members in particular:  the Hungarian Diaspora Regional Meeting and the Kossuth House Litigation.

 

Hungarian Diaspora Regional Meeting – On March 10 and 11, I and other Members of our Foundation participated in a meeting of the regional Hungarian Diaspora Council at the residence of Ambassador Szemerkényi on the 10th and at the beautiful new embassy location at 15th and Rhode Island Avenue, NW all day on 11th.  Mr. László Hámos, who is on our board and serves as the Chair of the Hungarian Diaspora Council (Magyar Diaszpóra Tanács), chaired the Saturday meeting at the new embassy.  We heard about the activities of Hungarian-American organizations throughout the eastern part of the US. I was able to update everyone on our hopes and plans for the Kossuth House as a potential heritage center in the Nation’s Capital.  Ambassador Szemerkényi also emphasized the need for a heritage center as a place for gathering and meeting not only with the Hungarian-American Community but with those in Washington interested in fostering stronger ties to Hungary.

Kossuth House Litigation – As many of you know, the Kossuth House is still not ours.  The building was the home office of the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America (HRFA) that served the Hungarian community for many years and is our predecessor organization. Before their merger with GBU Beneficial Life in 2011, the officers and directors of HRFA transferred title to the building to two former officers under a sale leaseback arrangement.  Subsequently, the DC Insurance Commission objected to the sale leaseback and ordered the transfer be undone.  Before that happened, HRFA merged with GBU and under the terms of the merger the building was to be transferred to our Foundation.  As that has not yet happened, GBU brought a law suit against the two former HRFA officers seeking recovery of the building and damages.  The court has ordered a transfer of the building to GBU and the case has now been settled with some, though not all of the parties.  We are hopeful that, with the trial largely concluded, the next steps toward transfer of the building to our Foundation can take place. However, before that can happen our Foundation will need to reimburse GBU for legal costs in connection with the litigation.  Those costs, though substantial are a fraction of the value of the building.  We will keep you informed.

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Hungarian Language Program Update

The January 8, 2018 meeting at Arlington Central Library from 6pm IS CANCELLED due to weather conditions. 

NEW MEETING DATE AND TIME: The Kossuth Foundation will hold an organizational meeting for those interested in attending Hungarian language evening/weekend classes in the spring on January 13, 2018 between 1- 2PM at the Kossuth House (2001 Massachusetts Ave, NW. Washingon DC 20036) close to Dupont Circle. All interested students are encouraged to attend. If there is enough interest we hope to offer beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate and advanced class this spring.

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