In recent years, it has become somewhat of a tradition for Chanukah celebrations to be held in luxury hotels in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.
The Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine, headed by Rabbi Meir Stambler and directed by Rabbi Refoel Dovber Rotman and his wife, organizes grand Menorah lightings every day of Chanukah in hotels throughout Kiev. In recent years, the Ukrainian capital city has seen an influx of new luxury hotels, due to the need to accommodate the many guests who visit the country each year.
On the fifth night of Chanukah, hundreds of people gathered at the prestigious Hyatt Regency Hotel, among them ambassadors, rabbis, government officials, and guests who came to celebrate the lighting of Menorah.
Among the ambassadors were Mr. Leigh Turner – British ambassador in Ukraine, Ms. Zina Kleitman – Israeli ambassador in Ukraine, Mr. Eric Schultz – U.S. consul in Ukraine. World champion boxer Dr. Vitali Klitschko was in attendance as well.
The evening’s MC, Rabbi Rotman led the crowd in saying Tehillim for the victims of the recent tragic fire in Israel.
After viewing a short video about Chanukah, Rabbi Meir Stambler, Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine, relayed a message of blessing from philanthropist Levi Leviev, President of Federation of Jewish Communities in the CIS.
In his speech he described the extensive activities of the organization throughout the year in Ukraine, and thanked the president and the government for the tolerance they show towards the Jews in the country and the war against those who attempt to violate religious freedom.
Ambassador of Israel Mrs. Kleitman spoke about the miracle of Chanukah, and the US and British Ambassadors each gave blessings from their countries.
The Menorah was lit by Mr. Alex Katz from the Jewish Agency, a close friend of many Chabad Shluchim in Ukraine.
Doughnuts and latkes and other Chanukah delicacies prepared by Mrs. Rotman were enjoyed by the guests.