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Zelensky congratulates Jewish leaders on first day of Hanukkah

by Lance Luo December 8, 2023 6:21 AM 1 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky took part in the ceremony of lighting Hanukkah candles in his office in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 7, 2023. (President's Office)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky on Dec. 7 met with Jewish clergy in Kyiv and took part in the Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony with Chief Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky.

"This holiday is about the victory of the human spirit. And that's the most important. I wish all of you, us, and everyone who is always on the side of light, on the side of Ukraine and its people, on the side of life - Happy Hanukkah and victory," Zelensky said.

Kaminetsky, who was born in Israel but moved to Dnipro in 1990, lit the large central candle of the menorah and recited a Hebrew blessing.

The Hanukkah holiday symbolizes the possibility of a miracle.

Rabbi Meir Stambler, Chairman of the Council of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine, said the president "can tell the world about the miracle of Ukraine."

Zelensky is Ukraine's first Jewish president and has actively embraced community leaders.

Jewish Confederation of Ukraine responds to Putin’s comment that Zelensky ‘isn’t Jewish’
“Zelensky is a hero not only of the Jewish people, but also of the entire political Ukrainian nation, which, of course, includes Jews,” the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine said in a statement.
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