Hanukkah Festival Held In Kyiv

09.12.2002, 16:09
On 5 December 2002, representatives of Jewish communities of central and eastern Ukraine gathered in the capital city of Kyiv to observe the festival of Hanukkah. Oleksandr Omelchenko, mayor of Kyiv, participated in the festive lighting of candles on Kyiv’s main street, Khreshchatyk, which was held there for the first time since Ukraine gained its independence.

“We identified our way to real unity long ago,” said Mayor Omelchenko. “First of all, I am talking about the promotion of the development of different national cultures and religions. The Ukrainian nation, which repeatedly had to fight for its right to self-identity, managed to formulate a definite position concerning national minorities. This position is grounded on the golden rule of general human morals, equally respected in the Gospel and by Jewish wise men.” According to Omelchenko, Kyiv is home to one of the greatest numbers of Jewish schools, cultural and academic communities in Europe. Among the speakers at the festival were Vadim Rabinovich, president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress and the United Jewish community in Ukraine, Yakiv Dov Blaikh, chief rabbi of Ukraine, Alex Kats, head of “Sokhnut,” an international Jewish agency in Ukraine and Moldova, and Yephym Erlikh, first secretary at the Israeli Embassy in Ukraine. Source: www.jewish.kiev.ua