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.
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.