Rabbi Mayer Stambler, head of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine, addressed Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and foreign and Ukrainian officials in a meeting with the Rabbis and leaders of the Jewish communities in Ukraine.
At the event, Rabbi Stambler spoke about the growth of the Jewish communities and the dedicated work that Chabad emissaries perform across Ukraine. He continued to thank the Ukrainian government and authorities for helping the Rabbis and community leaders revive Judaism in a country where it was forbidden for so many years, and he thanked the Prime Minister and the Israeli government for helping to support the educational programs and schools that run in Ukraine.
In his speech, Rabbi Stambler reminded the Prime Minister that just as the Rebbe had instructed him to kindle a light in a very dark place when he was the ambassador at the UN, the rabbis across Ukraine continue to ignite and spread light, bringing Judaism back to life in a country where there was so much darkness before, when hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered by the Nazis.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is currently on an official visit to Kiev, the first state visit of a foreign leader to Ukraine since the election of President Vladimir Zelensky, who is also Jewish The visit, the first by an Israeli premier in the last 20 years, was coordinated by Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Mr. Joel Lyon, as well as Oleg Vishnyakov, Honorary Consul of Israel in Western Ukraine and one of the leaders of the Jewish Community of Kiev.
Netanyahu began the visit with a memorial ceremony in Babi Yar, the site of a major Holocaust-era massacre in April 1941 that saw more than 33,000 Ukrainian Jews shot dead by Nazi troops, AFP reported.
Following the meeting with the Rabbis and community leaders, the group posed for a group photo.