By COLlive reporter
Photos by Ben Droz / IMF Photos
Just hours after a historic climate agreement in Paris was reached, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) returned to Washington, DC to participate in “World of Light,” an international celebration marking the concluding moments of Chanukah.
The IMF, the organization which serves as the economic advisor and backstop for 188 countries, hosted the unique event at its headquarters in cooperation with American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the World Bank.
Standing alongside Madame Lagarde were President of the IADB Luis Alberto Moreno, Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Stanley Fischer, Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, and Keith Hansen, World Bank Vice President for Human Development, representing President Jim Yong Kim, who was en route to Asia at the time.
Chairing the event which was attended by hundreds of prominent global financiers, diplomats, and other members of the international community was Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Executive Vice President of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) and Shliach in Washington, DC.
After remarks by Madame Lagarde, she lit a shamash along with President Moreno. The lights of the menorah were then lit with the help of Mr. Fischer and Ambassador Dermer.
“These lights of the menorah are being lit literally for the last time this Chanukah”, said Rabbi Shemtov, “but as the Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches us ‘zos Chanukah’ does not merely mean ‘this is it’ as in this is the end, rather, this is ‘it’ the concept – fuller illumination of darkness and its ultimate elimination – to which we all must strive, and to which we have symbolically working toward for the last eight days.”
“While we recently felt the world’s heart torn apart – again – with the terrorist attacks in Paris, we also saw the world come together, there, in recent days. Regardless of your opinion about the climate agreement, the notion that representatives of hundreds of nations, many of which would normally not find themselves in the same room, came together, speaks loudly of hope and light, an appropriate message for these times.”
The distinguished guests, from dozens of countries were then treated to a beautiful musical program in multiple languages by beloved Jewish performer Benny Amar, followed by an international cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Avi Harouch.