Kharkov for Chanukah - the place where everyone wants to be
After the mayor of Kharkov went up to light the menorah last year ...this year he had 'competition' - together with the mayor , Vladimir Shumilkin , joined the governor of Kharkov Arsen Avakov , and the brother of the President and Senator in the Ukrainian parliament - Peter Yushenko !
Over 1000 people packed into the beautiful synagogue on Pushkinskaya St- for the first part of the program . Alexander Kaganovsky , the synagogue's president , thanked the government of Kharkov for making Jews in Kharkov feel safe from anti-semitism and xenophobia . The chief Rabbi of Kharkov , Moishe Moskovitz , lit the beautiful silver menorah in the synagogue with the help of the mayor and president of the Jewish community , senator Alexander Borisovich Feldman . The mayor said that the only disadvantage about Chanukah is that it only lasts 8 days...and not 365 ! Mr Feldman wished everyone a happy Chanukah and invited everyone to come not only to festival programs but every Shabbat ...The students of the Or Avner school #170 and kindergarten showed their talents and all the guests watched how Chanukah is celebrated all over the world - even in space . The governor , Mr Avakov and Mr. Yushenko were greatly impressed with the beauty of the synagogue and as they went outside to light the large menorah on Pushkinskaya St - they were interviewed by the press who rushed to put the event on the nightly news on all the Tv channels of Kharkov .
Rabbi Moskovitz went up on the cherry picker together with senator Yushenko , the governor and the mayor . All the trolley buses stopped in the street to witness this miraculous event . Mr. Avakov spoke of the beauty of the synagogue and the strength of the Jewish community . Mr. Yushenko began his speech with a loud 'Shalom Aleichem' ...and then to the music of Haneirot Hallalu , the fireworks began - so that all of Kharkov would know that the light of Chanukah is shining in the city .
A parade of menorah cars drove through the streets , thanks to the work of the boys in the Yeshiva Gedolah .