Already in its first year of existence, the Smicha Program of Kiev under the auspices of the Central Synagogue of Kiev has already proven itself an academically advanced institute as well as one that has benefited the local Jewish community.
The students are mostly post-770 boys who come not only to acquire their rabbinical degree but also to illuminate the city with the flame of Torah and Mitzvos.
At the head of the program is Rabbi Yakov Nechimowsky who dedicated many hours preparing the young students for the final exams. Assisting him are Rabbis Yosef Yitzchak Wilshansky, Yehuda Friedman and Mendel Nachshon.
After a series of test in which the boys exhibited great proficiency in all the material, the final test too place yesterday, concluding the studies.
The examining rabbis were Rabbis Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenazi, chief rabbi of Kfar Chabad, Rabbi Meir Eliyahu Aharon, Rosh Kolel Or Zarua of Rehovot, and Rabbi Yehuda Friedman of the school's academic administration. All three rabbis commented on the great knowledge which the young students responded sharply and quickly to all their questions.
Over 1,000 congregation members attended a huge ordination ceremony which took place following the final.
Gracing the event with his presence was Rabbi Moshe Asman, Rebbe's Shliach to Kiev and the city's Chief Rabbi.
Rabbi Ashkenazi addressed the crowd with warm words, recounting his personal connection with Rabbi Asman since his arrival in Kiev over 15 years ago. He said that he felt that by testing these new rabbis, he had come a full circle, and that eh hopes Rabbi Asman will continue to bring Torah and Judaism into a city that was once bare of any holiness.
The newly ordained rabbis received their certificates from the respectable rabbis. Witnessing the historic moment as new rabbis were being ordained in this previously restrictive city under tyrannical regimes, led all in the audience to rise to their feet in thunderous applause.
Rabbi Berel Karasik concluded the event with a Siyum, as per the minhag in the Nine Days.
A Farbrengen followed the main event in which the newly ordained rabbis together with members of the community took part. Additionally, the Farbrengen celebrated the birthday of Rabbi Dovid Nachshon, Chairman of the Mitzvah Tank Office of Israel and a great friend of the Kiev Jewish community.
The event was organized by Rabbi Yehuda Mendelsohn.