Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar and officials from the Federation of Jewish Communities of the Former Soviet Union accompanied President Vladimir Putin on his official state visit to Israel last week, guiding him through the Western Wall plaza and associated tunnels with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, chief rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites in Israel.

Putin began his visit in the city of Netanya with the inauguration of a memorial for Soviet soldiers who fought against German forces during World War II. Later on, at a dinner reception hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, the Russian president introduced Lazar and the FJC delegation to his Israeli counterpart.

The delegation included FJC president and philanthropist Lev Leviev; Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Alexander Boroda, president of the FJC of Russia; and FJC secretary and treasurer Shlomo Peles.