WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's conservative president has led a candle lighting ceremony for Hanukkah, following a tradition of Polish presidents marking the Jewish festival of lights to signal support for the country's small but historically important Jewish community.

President Andrzej Duda took part in the menorah lighting at his presidential palace in Warsaw after dusk Wednesday along with members of Poland's Jewish community.

Duda recalled that the former President Lech Kaczynski, his mentor, had begun the tradition.

He said, "let there always be a great hope for the chosen people, for all the Jews in Poland and in the world."

Poland was once home to the world's largest Jewish population, but most of the country's Jews were killed by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.