On the eighth night of Chanukah, a remarkable event took place in Albania: President Bujar Nishani personally invited the Jewish community to a formal Chanukah menorah-lighting ceremony at his palace.
Multiple media outlets covered the event, which was attended by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, government ministers, members of parliament and various ambassadors, in addition to leaders of Albania’s various religious communities.
Nishani spoke about the tenacity of the Jewish people and their commitment to their faith. This is evident, he said, by the fact that they kindle lights in a country that once symbolized darkness, illuminating and radiating the world around them.
Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and Chief Rabbi of Albania Rabbi Yoel Kaplan thanked the president for his warm words regarding Albanian Jewry and the State of Israel. Such sentiments represent a continuation of the positive attitude of the Albanian nation, which, he noted, saved many Jews during the Holocaust.
Israeli ambassador to Albania David Cohen lit the menorah and thanked the president for organizing the special event.