Printed from fjc.org.ua

Kiev Lights Up with Foreign Diplomats &High Ranking Government Officials

Воскресенье, 24. Декабрь, 2017 - 5:37

Ambassadors, Foreign diplomats and Ukrainian Government Ministers and Officials joined the local and foreign Jewish business community at the annual Chanukah party and Menorah lighting hosted by Raphael and DevorahRutman at the exclusive five star Intercontinental Hotel in the center of Kiev.

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The evening, which fell on the sixth night of Chanukah, began with opening remarks by the host, Raphael Rutman. He thanked all of the participants for making the effort to come to spread the universal message of the Chanukah Lights.

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The program started with a special memorial service in honor of all those who lost their lives fighting for freedom and democracy around the world, mentioning in particular the many people who have been killed in Ukraine in the current conflict in the East of the country. A moment of silence was held to honor their memory.

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The evening continued with R. Rutmantalking about the importance of hope and religious freedom that Chanukah represents and the importance of tolerance and light in times like these, with war still raging in the east of the country.

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The evening continued with Rabbi Meir Stambler, president of The Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine, relating a message from the LubavitcherRebbe about the importance of Chanukah and its relevance to our generation. He also described the extensive activities of the organization throughout the year in Ukraine and thanked the Ukrainian authorities for the tolerance they show towards the Jews in the country.

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Among the foreign diplomats and government officials who spoke were Ambassadors from the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, the EU and Israel. Ukrainian officials included Mr. OleksandrDanylyuk, the Finance Minister; Mr. Nikolai Povoroznik, the acting Mayor of Kiev; Mr. EvgeniyChervonenko, former Governor and Minister of Transport; Mr. ValentynNalyvaichenko, the former head of the Ukrainian security services (KGB) and current politician; Mr. Boris Lozhkin, former head of the Presidential Administration; and former Prime Minister of Ukraine and current Parliamentarian, Mrs. YuliaTymoshenko.They all spoke about the importance of freedom of speech and democracy that Chanukah stands for, as well as thanked the organizers for the opportunity to join in the celebrations, and expressed greetings and blessings from their respective countries.

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After viewing a selection of short videos about Chanukah and present day miracles, the Menorah lighting ceremony began. Each participant in the audience at the event was given a candle to hold and light during the ceremony. The eight Ambassadors present were invited to the stage where they lit their respective candles with the help of a 93 year old community memberand formed a human menorah together with the former head of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration, Mr. Boris Lozhkin.The Ambassadors and government officials were honored with helping to light the Shamash of the Menorah by uniting their candles together, and Mr.Lozhkinthen recited the blessings and lit the large Menorah.

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After the formal lighting was completed, the guests were invited to join in a traditional Chanukah buffet including latkes, handmade doughnuts and many other delicacies. The guests lingered, savoring the warm Chanukah atmosphere and the delicious food organized by DevorahRutman.

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In addition to the annual Menorah lighting, large menorahs were placed in the lobbies of all of the five star hotels in Kiev. Every night of Chanukah there were lightings in each hotel, conducted by Raphael Rutman and attended by hotel guests and invited Kiev community members, including rabbis, government officials and businessmen.

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