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Photograph: Shturem/Ukraine
Ir HaMelech Hosts Special Guests
The Jewish community of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, received a special visit from the Jewish businessman and philanthropist Hillel (Leonardo) Farkas from Chile along with a distinguished delegation of Rabbis and Shluchim of the Rebbe, headed by the Vice- Chairman of Merkos, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky and his son Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kotlarsky. The delegation was hosted by the Rebbe's Shluchim in the city, headed by the Chief Shliach and Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky.

Already at the airport, there was great elation when the head of the passport inspection department in the Dnieper area and his aides honored the guests personally when they arrived and left.

The visit began with the educational institutions - the Jewish school named after Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Zt "l, the father of the Rebbe, the boys' yeshiva and the Bais Chaya Mushka , Farkas addressed the children, and of course distributed gifts ...

From there, the delegation visited the elders of the community at the Beis Baruch Jewish Nursing Home on the other side of the city. Rabbi Kotlarsky spoke to them warmly and Farkaswent up to visit those who were confined to their beds. The visit and warm greetings will certainly add long days and good years to the hosts.

The long Friday enabled the delegation to enjoy a tour of the grand Menorah Jewish center as well as the visit of Holocaust survivors and Jewish veterans who came to the office of Rabbi Kaminetzky to meet with him and the distinguished guests. The delegation was also visited the Jewish Holocaust Museum.

Kabbolas Shabbos was accompanied by the Mafteach Sol Choir and chazzan Yossel Glick of Eretz Yisroel, who set the tone for the atmosphere that enveloped everyone. For the Shabbos meal, guests were invited to Rabbi Kaminetzky's house, a seuda that continued into the small hours of the night.

On Shabbos morning, the "Golden Rose" shul was filled to capacity for davening with the cantorial renditions.

Rabbi Kaminetzky and Rabbi Kotlarsky, who made a great effort to participate in this Shabbos, delivered the words of Torah and Chassidus. Rabbi Kotlarsky addressed the audience and included in his words a very moving story about a Holocaust survivor named Velvel ben Moshe from western Ukraine and his return to the bosom of his people thanks to the dedicated work of the Rebbe's Shliach.

After davening, when everyone was filled with enthusiasm and a sense of Jewish pride, the entire kehilla was invited to seudas Shabbos at the Menorah Hall, hosted by Mr. Farkas. During the seuda, with more than 800 guests, the choir and chazzan regaled the participants with Chassidishe nigunim .

The meal continued with a farbrengen of the Shluchim in Dnieper with the visiting rabbis and shluchim Rabbi Benzion Korf, Rabbi Mendel Katz, Rabbi Chaim Stern and Rabbi Moshe Denberg.

The climax was at the end of the evening when the audience was invited to the main event - the siyum of a Sefer Torah commissioned from the Merkaz Stam in Dnieper by the distinguished guest, which will be brought to the shul in Haditch.

At the ceremony, Mr. Farkas conducted a Jewish quiz for the children who participated in the event and won valuable prizes. He also explained and taught them about the zchus of giving tzadoko.

The magnificent event concluded in the wee hours, after much lively dancing.

One of the Shluchim in the city told Shturem that the visit was a significant event for the Jews of Dnieper and certainly strengthened them. The visit already affects their decisions regarding their eternal connection to the people, the community and the blessed work in the "Ir HaMelech."

Watch the highlights of the special visit:

11 Iyar 5777