Photo Credit: Ukrinform TV - YouTube screen grab
Ukraine President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukraine’s newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish, met on Monday with a delegation of chief rabbis serving in the country’s cities.

The rabbis, all Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries to the country, presented Zelensky, 42, with a Torah translated into Russian, and wished him success in his new position.

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All told, they spent about an hour together, describing the history of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries in the former Soviet Union and discussing the challenges of Jewish life in Ukraine.

Included among the members of the delegation meeting with the president-elect were: Chief Rabbi of Kiev Moshe Asman; Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzsky of Dniepr; Rabbi Moshe Moskovitz of Kharkov; Rabbi Avraham Wolff of Odessa; Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm of Zhitomir; and Rabbi Pinchus Vishetzkiy of Donetzk, the fifth largest city in Ukraine. Donetzk has also been the site of fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian and DPR forces.

Zelensky will take office at the beginning of June, the first Jew to do so in the history of the nation.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.