Ukrainian embassy in Israel has again warned against Chasidic pilgrimage to Uman this Rosh Hashanah

Despite warnings, upwards of 100 pilgrims have already arrived ahead of the holiday


UMAN, UKRAINE - SEPTEMBER 18: Jewish pilgrims on the relatively empty streets on September 18, 2020 in Uman, Ukraine. Despite travel restrictions imposed by Ukraine meant to curb the spread of Covid-19, a few thousand pilgrims have managed to arrive in Uman for Rosh Hashanah. Uman is home to the tomb Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, founder of a prominent Hasidic movement. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Ukrainian embassy in Israel has issued a warning against Chasidic pilgrimage to the tomb site of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Uman this year.  

The annual pilgrimage, which has been going on for over 200 years, is called the Rosh Hashanah kibbutz and typically draws thousands of Chasidic worshipers each year around Jewish New Year, which in 2022 falls on September 25 to 27. In 2021, almost 30,000 Chasidic visitors, primarily from Israel and the United States, celebrated the holidays in Uman.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the Ukrainian embassy in Israel said: “When the echoes of the Russian enemy explosions on Ukraine don’t stop, we must take care of ourselves. Please, avoid coming to Uman on Rosh Hashanah and pray that peace will return to Ukraine and the blessed pilgrimage will be renewed.”

The embassy’s warning arrives just one week after Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time since taking office in June. Following that conversation, Lapid warned Israeli citizens about travelling to the Ukrainian city of Uman due to “life-threatening danger posed by entering the area of fighting” between Russia and Ukraine. 

Last week it was reported that more than 100 Chasidic pilgrims had already arrived in Uman despite dire warnings from both Israeli and Ukrainian officials.

Ukraine’s domestic security service has stepped up its anti-terror training in preparation for an influx of pilgrims around Jewish New Year, saying: “Russia can use the arrival and mass gathering of pilgrims to carry out provocations. Complex training took place on the territory of an unfinished building in the Rabbi Nachman historical and cultural centre to check the security of the pilgrimage site.”

Ilhor Taburets, chair of the regional military administration in Cherkasy, had previously said these security measures were taking place because of the “high probability of missile strikes” as Russia’s goal was to “destabilise international relations and harm the international image of Ukraine.”

Two separate Russian missile attacks were launched on Uman in August, killing one and wounding numerous others, and badly damaging local infrastructure.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive