Polish Jews light Hanukkah candles at Presidential Palace

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Representatives of the Polish Jewish community lit Hanukkah candles at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.

Polish President Andrzej Duda during the Wednesday evening lighting ceremony reminded those in attendance at the ceremony that the tradition of lighting Hanukkah candles at the palace was launched by former President Lech Kaczynski. Duda thanked former Israeli Ambassador to Poland Shewah Weiss who “is the symbol of the Republic of friends.”

“I would like this Hanukkah candle to shine all over the country giving joy, and warmth, and a sense of community that we all so desperately need,” said the president. “Let there always be a great hope for the chosen people, for all the Jews in Poland and around the world.”

The first such ceremony took place at the Polish Presidential Palace on Dec. 18, 2006. Last year, for the first time since the first lighting, the ceremony was canceled.

“It is good that Hanukkah candles were lit again in the Presidential Palace,” Polish-Jewish activist Piotr Kadlcik told JTA. “I hope that the President’s words, the “Republic of friends,” is a good sign for Polish Jews and Israel.”

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