Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lit the first Hanukkah candle in his office on Thursday, along with Chabad emissaries who also serve as rabbis of cities in Ukraine.
The meeting and candle lighting was initiated by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine (FJCU) headed by Chabad emissary Rabbi Mayer Stambler.
After the candle lighting, the President spoke with the rabbis and expressed to them his appreciation for their work with the Jews of the country throughout the year.
The chairman of FJCU, Rabbi Raphael Rotman told the President about the organization's work on the Hanukkah holiday, together with Chabad emissaries, including sending thousands of packages for the holiday to the Jews of the Ukraine,erecting public menorahs, placing menorahs on vehicles, and billboards wishing a Happy Hanukkah and including details on candle lighting ceremonies.
At the meeting, Stambler said that despite the holiday, it is time to remember "our brothers and sisters who are held captive by the Hamas terrorist organization and to praise the heroism of the soldiers on the battlefield in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip."
Rabbi Stambler said at the conclusion of the meeting that "President Zelenskyy stated that he is sure that the light will defeat the darkness, in Ukraine and in the Holy Land."