Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a message to the country's Jewish residents in advance of the Passover holiday, which begins Saturday night.

The message was delivered to the office of Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary.

"During these days, you will once again be turning to your history, to the timeless values of Judaism, which are of general human significance," Putin wrote.

"The Jewish community of Russia is unquestionably making an important contribution to strengthening the inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue in the country, and to advancing the centuries-old friendship of its people." ...