Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was guest of honor at a Tel Aviv banquet Thursday evening, celebrating 20 years of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS.
Addressing the crowd of Chabad emissaries and friends, Netanyahu praised Chabad’s work in the Former Soviet Union.
“You stand atop of the mountain,” the Prime Minister said poetically. “And the Jewish people gathered at its base salute you. I am the first [to do so.]”
Hundreds of Chabad emissaries from the former Soviet Union, including Russian Chief Rabbi, Berel Lazar filled the exhibition hall of Tel-Aviv’s Ganei Ha’tarucha, where a video of the Prime Minister’s personal visits with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of blessed memory was shown.
Philanthropist Lev Leviev, President of the CIS Federation of Jewish Communities, also in attendance, was recognized by Netanyahu.
“Lev has given his all to the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said. The Prime Minister enumerated many of Mr. Leviev’s philanthropic activities for the benefit of Jewish life in the FSU.