Netanyahu, Putin attend Jewish ceremony

Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrived in Moscow Thursday on a one-day visit to attend a Jewish ceremony, the festival of light, or Hanukkah, where he was joined by Russian President Vladimir Putin. As Netanyahu, Israeli Ambassador to Russia Nathan Meron, Rabbi Berl Lazar and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov looked on, Putin lighted a candle at Moscow's newly opened Maryina Roscha synagogue and Jewish community center. Putin then passed the candle to Lazar, who lighted the first of eight candles in the eight-day ceremony. Netanyahu, clearly moved by Putin's presence at the ceremony, said it signified, "big, powerful, positive change in Russia." Putin was warmly greeted when he arrived at the centre, and Lazar, the head of the Russian Federation of Jewish Communities organization, later presented the Russian leader with a menorah. Putin thanked Lazar, noting that he hoped it would "illuminate the Kremlin with light and warmth," UPI reports.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team