Israeli cultural institute, heralded as the 1st in the world, to open in Budapest

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Officials say the world's first Israeli cultural institute will be opening in Budapest.

Director Gabor Balazs says the aim of the institute opening to the public Friday is to show the diversity of Israel's "mosaic-like" culture, including works and performances by Jews, Christians, Arabs and other writers and artists.

Natan Sharansky of the Jewish Agency says the institute was set up in Hungary partly because of the country's large Jewish community, estimated at 100,000.

Local Jewish businessmen and entrepreneurs have also partnered with his agency, which deals with Israel's relations with Jews abroad.

Israeli cellist Hillel Zori is due to perform at the institute on Saturday with Hungarian Roma pianists.