Israel’s Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin welcomed a delegation of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine (JCU) on Monday, comprised of 25 individuals led by its president, Boris Lozhkin, in the historic heart of the capital: the City of David.

Elkin walked the delegation through the central street of the ancient city and showed them the tunnel underneath. Still being excavated, the area is not yet open to the public.

The delegation presented Elkin, who was born in Ukraine and has spent much time developing relations between the two countries, with an honorary medal of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine.

The group also met with Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, presenting him with an honorary medal named ”A Thousand Hearts.”

It was made for the 100th anniversary of the repatriation on board the Ruslan. In 1919, it carried 600 repatriates from Odessa to Jaffa. The majority of people had left the country using forged documents, fleeing pogroms and war. The arrival of the Ruslan marked the beginning of the “Third Wave of Aliyah.”

Lozhkin said the confederation supports Israel’s initiatives on a wide range of issues and aims to continue to strengthen cooperation and relations between Israel and Jewish communities of Ukraine, as well as Jewish communities from other countries.

He noted the success of the First Kiev Jewish Forum held earlier this year, which brought more than 500 participants together from around the world, and invited Edelstein to be a keynote speaker at the forum’s next meeting.

Lozhkin also pointed out that the confederation pays special attention to combating anti-Semitism in Ukraine, providing assistance to the nation’s Jewish communities, and running a variety of educational programs and social projects.

In addition, JCU has been working with local governments on renaming streets in Ukrainian cities in honor of the Righteous Among the Nations who saved Jewish lives during the Holocaust.

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