Kossuth Foundation Language Program Announcement and Guidelines – Spring 2021 Semester

Program Overview – The Kossuth Foundation Hungarian language program offers stimulating online evening or weekend courses at all levels of study. New and returning students are welcome. If you are uncertain about which level may be right for you, please contact us. All courses are small and taught by experienced, native Hungarian teachers who have taught with us or elsewhere for many years. We strive to make the lessons educational, culturally rewarding, and fun. For the spring 2021 semester, courses are scheduled for 12 weeks starting during the week of Monday, January 11.

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Language Program Announcement: Payment for Courses to Change from Donation-based to Tuition-based

The Kossuth Foundation Board of Directors has changed how its language program is funded. For the past several years the foundation has requested a voluntary donation from each student to help pay for the expenses of the program. Starting with the spring 2021 semester, the foundation will require the payment of tuition. This article focuses on the switch to tuition-based payment; the general announcement for the spring 2021 semester will be published in early December.

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Thank You for the Support!

As we're all trying to get through these difficult times, we're happy to say that the spirit and determination of our Foundation are still strong to keep serving the Hungarian Diaspora and all people connected to, or interested in the Hungarian culture. Our Hungarian Language Program, the Hungarian Library, and the events at the Kossuth House are alive, and well, some of them just waiting for the right time to make a comeback.
Special thanks to our Team at the Kossuth Foundation, friends, and supporters, including the Bethlen Gábor Alapkezelő Zrt. for their help. We hope to see you all soon again in person as well.

Our Fall Language Program Has Gone Virtual

Our Kossuth Foundation Language Program is in full swing this fall with eight courses at all levels. We
have 50 students, who are mostly in the DC area. All lessons are taught using the Zoom virtual platform.
"A positive outcome of fully online learning: We can have students who are not local and are able to
participate from different states/countries." – Ibolya Latran (one of our teachers). Some students attend
classes from as far away as Philadelphia, Houston, Boston, New Mexico, and even Europe.

Much of our success is due to our wonderful teachers who are all native speakers with experience in
language education and to our Language Program Coordinator, Mr. Peter Berty, who is one of our
advanced class students and a former officer and director of the Foundation. "I have really enjoyed the
Hungarian classes …. I’ve been very impressed by the knowledge and patience of [my teachers], you
have a great team!" – Katherine (one of our students).

We will be moving to a tuition-based platform next year but will offer tuition forgiveness to those who
need financial help in exchange for a commitment to work as a volunteer to help with our programs. We
also will be searching for someone to work part time in helping to manage the program. Please contact
us if you can help or would like to participate.

In the Summer of 2020, the Kossuth Foundation was awarded a generous 1,250,000 HUF grant from the Bethlen Gabor Foundation (Bethlen Gábor Alapitvány or BGA) to support the Kossuth Foundation’s adult Hungarian language education program. The BGA is supported by the National Policy Research Institute (Nemzetpolitikai Kutatóintézet) of the Government of Hungary. Upon hearing of the grant award, Gabor Rozsa, Executive Director of the Foundation, said “We are enormously appreciative of the generous support we have received from the Bethlen Gabor Foundation and the Hungarian Government.”



Staffing Changes

While the Foundation relies heavily on volunteers to help run the organization, we could not get by without the help of a few paid staff who help in a number of ways. In February of 2020, we retained the services of Erika Orban to serve as an Executive Assistant to assist in the operations of the Foundation. Erika was instrumental in daily operations and helped to organize a somber commemoration of the 100thAnniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Trianon, which resulted in the loss of two-thirds of the land mass of Hungary. Due to a family relocation to Budapest in October, she was forced to resign her part- time position with us but she leaves with our thanks.

We were able to retain the help of Ms. Zsuzsanna Seres, in a part-time position to serve as Controller to the Foundation, primarily responsible along with our Treasurer, Mr. Atilla Kocsis, for our finances. She also helps in the operations of the Foundation. Ms. Seres has a degree in economics from the University of Szolnok and has studied accounting at the University of Maryland. She also leads the Hungarian youth dance group. Rózsafa, and is very active in the DC Hungarian American community. As a result of Zsuzsanna joining the staff, Ms. Eva Kovacs, is stepping down as our accountant.  We are deeply indebted to Eva for her generous help in managing the Foundation’s finances over the past several years.  We hope to see her at many of our upcoming activities when we are able to again host then at the Kossuth House

GBU’s The Reporter Features the Kossuth House

In December of 2011, the Hungarian Reformed Federation of American merged with GBU Financial Life and was reorganized as District 3000 within the new company. As part of the merger, the Kossuth
Foundation was established to carry on the charitable mission of HRFA and the former headquarters of HRFA (the Kossuth House in Washington DC) was to be donated to the new Foundation. Although the transfer was delayed for several years, the transfer finally took place in late 2017. Those owning policies with HRFA at the time of the merger with GBU became lifetime charter members of the Kossuth Foundation and GBU was instrumental in providing initial financial support for our Foundation. The most recent edition of the new magazine (The Reporter) published by GBU for its membership features an article on the Foundation, its mission and the Kossuth House entitled “Honoring Hungarian Heritage”. A link to the article can be found here. For more information about GBU and the financial portfolio it offers, please visit their website at https://www.gbu.org.

Repair of the Kossuth House

“The cause of freedom is identified with the destinies of humanity, and in whatever part of the world it gains ground by and by, it will be a common gain to all those who desire it.” - Lajos Kossuth

The Kossuth House is in the heart of Washington DC along the famed Embassy Row, where it serves as the headquarters of the Kossuth Foundation and as a conduit to fulfill the Foundation’s mission. The building was purchased by the Hungarian state in June of 2019 and turned over to the Kossuth Foundation to manage for the benefit of the Hungarian diaspora community and visitors from Hungary. The Kossuth House is working to become a dynamic center where the Hungarian-American community gathers to meet, discuss and learn of Hungary’s history, culture, government, commerce, language, art, literature, and cuisine.

The services we are working to provide at Kossuth House include:

• Education (language, history, travel, cooking)
• Lectures (cultural studies, political discourse)
• Library – Books and media in Hungarian or about Hungary
• Programs and Exhibits – Music, Táncház, Art, Crafts
• A place to welcome Hungarians visiting Washington and the US, to learn about America, Hungarian-Americans and the DC community
• A place for Hungarian-American organizations to call home and to interact.

In keeping with Kossuth’s House role, we are nearing completion of a comprehensive repair of the building, with the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary.

These updates included:

• Repair and refinishing of the original oak floors in the first floor hallway, library and upstairs conference room.
• Repair of the ceilings and walls, and painting of the library and upstairs conference rooms.
• Updating of the lighting to better facilitate programs and exhibits.
• Renovating the kitchen, with installation of a new floor, lighting, cabinets and appliances.
• Removal of the wallpaper and the painting of the walls adjacent to the stairwell.

With this updating of the building’s interior, we continue to make significant progress towards creating a “Hungarian Heritage Center” which can serve as a legacy for Hungarian-Americans in Washington and across our nation. The immediate repairs are nearly complete, and we are now looking at further improvements needed to make the building more accessible and attractive to the Hungarian American community which it serves. We welcome the involvement and support of the community in the development of the important cultural resource. If you would like to help financially or by getting involved, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
– Gabor (Gabe) Rozsa, Chairman of the Board

Andrea Lauer Rice replaces Max Teleki on the Foundation Board

In August, Mr. Max Teleki offered his resignation from the Board after serving on our board for two years.  In his letter, he mentioned the impact of the coronavirus on him personally and professionally and thanked the board for their “collegial and joyful approach to the foundation’s mission”. He also indicated that he saw a bright future for the Foundation. At the board’s September 25th meeting, Ms. Andrea Lauer Rice was invited to join the Board and she accepted.  She is the current President of the Hungarian American Coalition and serves as the US President of the Hungarian Diaspora Council (Magyar Diaszpóra Tanács).  She resides in the metro Atlanta area. 


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