Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman toured Chabad-Lubavitch educational institutions in Kiev before wrapping up his pre-Chanukah state visit to Ukraine.

Israeli Ambassador Zina Kleitman, embassy representative Felix Mindel and Deputy Knesset Speaker Alex Miller joined Lieberman for the visit to Kiev’s Simcha School, his second since 2003. He was in town to discuss improving bilateral relations between the two countries, including relaxing visa restrictions.

Lieberman, a Russian-speaking immigrant who ascended to the leadership of the Israel Beiteinu political party and today serves as deputy prime minister, told students at the Simcha School that Chanukah teaches that even in the most difficult of situations, it’s vital to preserve one’s Jewish identity.

Student representatives presented the politician with a clay Chanukah menorah and a framed picture from his last visit to the school, when he served as Transportation Minister. Rabbi Mordechai Levenharts, the school’s principal, led the tour through the facilities, including its daycare and nurseries.

“At the end of a busy visit,” said Lieberman, “I am finishing it with a refreshing look at the work of Chabad-Lubavitch” in Ukraine.