Holocaust survivor gymnast and rabbi honored with Hungarian Order of Merit

Rabbi Shlomo Koves and Holocaust survivor gymnast Agnes Keleti are among this year's recipients of the prestigious order.

A Hungarian national flag flutters outside the Hungarian parliament building at a pro-Orban rally during Hungary's National Day celebrations, which also commemorates the 1848 Hungarian Revolution against the Habsburg monarchy, in Budapest, Hungary, March 15, 2018.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
A Hungarian national flag flutters outside the Hungarian parliament building at a pro-Orban rally during Hungary's National Day celebrations, which also commemorates the 1848 Hungarian Revolution against the Habsburg monarchy, in Budapest, Hungary, March 15, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Two prominent figures from Hungary's Jewish community were honored with the country's second-highest state award, the Hungarian Order of Merit.
Rabbi Shlomo Koves and gymnast and Holocaust survivor Agnes Keleti were among this year's recipients of the prestigious order. 
Keleti is a five-time Olympic gold-medalist and Holocaust survivor. At age 35 she won an Olympic title, becoming the oldest female gymnast to do so.
Keleti was forced off her gymnastics team in 1941 because of her Jewish identity, and hid in the Hungarian countryside, posing as a maid to survive the Holocaust. Her father, and other relatives, were killed at Auschwitz. 
Koves oversees nine synagogues as well as 17 rabbis and Chabad emissaries across Hungary, and leads the Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities (EMIH) which operates a kosher slaughterhouse, food distribution center for the needy, kosher restaurants, a publishing house and more.
“Shlomo Köves, the leading rabbi of the United Hungarian Jewish Community, is a religious leader who authentically represents Jewish identity and plays an outstanding role in the renewal of Jewish culture and life in Hungary,” read the official decision to grant him the order.