Who We Are

The Hungarian Communion of Friends (Magyar Baráti Közösség or MBK) is a non-profit 501c organization, with several North American chapters, aimed at preserving Hungarian cultural heritage and Hungarian non-denominational religious values. Its goal is to promote the development of our Hungarian-American identity in the service of a longer-term presence in the region, and to help strengthen overall Hungarian unity and cohesion.
MBK was established in 1967. Since its beginning, it has regularly published the ITT-OTT Periodical which later developed into the ITT-OTT Yearbook. MBK is also the organizer of the annual ITT-OTT Conference at Lake Hope State Park in Ohio, with the aim of providing an intellectual forum within the context of family vacationing. The Conference’s guest speakers from the Carpathian basin as well as from the other regions of Hungarian diaspora, often bring their programs to local chapters as well.

Achievements and awards:

  • The MBK is a founding member of HAC, a member of the Hungarian Diaspora Council and active participant in its programs, including the Kőrösi Csoma Sándor Program.
  • Márton Áron Érem - 1990 - Bethlen Gábor Alapitvány
  • Magyar Örökség Díj - 2012 - Magyar Örökség és Európa Társaság
  • Community Recognition Award - 2014 - Hungarian American Coalition

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the MBK?
The MBK is an acronym for the Magyar Baráti Közösség. The English translation is Hungarian Communion of Friends. The MBK is an American-Hungarian society that promotes non-denominational religious life in the Hungarian tradition; Charitable work by and among people of Hungarian extraction; and Cultural-educational endeavors that further Hungarian values.
The Hungarian Communion of Friends (Magyar Baráti Közösség) is best known for its annual, week-long conference held at Lake Hope State Park in Ohio. Its publication entitled Itt-Ott (Here and There) provides a public forum for the discussion of questions related to Hungarians living outside the borders of Hungary. (Itt-Ott was established in 1967.) Most of the organization's members reside in the United States, but it also has significant support in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, and several European countries.
What kind of organization is the MBK?
The MBK is registered with the State of Oregon and is recognized by the United States Government as a tax-exempt religious, charitable and cultural organization.
What does Itt-Ott mean?
Itt-Ott means Here (and) there. It is the title of a Hungarian-language journal that we have been publishing since 1967. It is also the name of annual gathering hosted by the MBK at Lake Hope, Ohio. On this home page, it refers to the total content of the page.
The slogan Itt-Ott was paraphrased from the Hungarian poet Endre Ady's 1909 poem Miért is, miért is?
What is the ITT-OTT Conference?
For over forty years in addition to its intellectual programs, the conference offers an opportunity for families to vacation together. At Lake Hope we are all refreshed and filled anew with Hungarian spirit for another year.
What is the Conference’s daily schedule?
Mornings starts with educational, cultural and informative programs at the Lake Hope lodge.
After a shared lunch, activities continue at the Lake Hope beach, swimming, boating and opportunities for continuing informal discussions.
A typical evening program consist of artistic literary presentation, Hungarian films, live folk music and folk dance. After the evening program we continue to enjoy each other’s company, by gathering around the campfire to further discuss the daily events and singing folk songs.