Hasidic Jews arrive in Ukraine to celebrate Hebrew New Year on Sept. 28, 2019.
Photo by Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service
Nearly 25,000 Hasidic Jews have arrived in Ukraine to celebrate the Rosh Hashanah holiday marking the new year 5780 according to Hebrew chronology.
Throughout the day of Sept. 28 alone, the Ukrainian State Border Service officers approved the entry of 5,687 pilgrims. They’re coming to the city of Uman in central Ukraine some 180 kilometers south of Kyiv, mostly through airport checkpoints of Odesa, Vinnytsya, Kyiv, and also from across the border with Poland, Slovakia, and Romania.
According to Ukraine’s National Police, the community of pilgrims in Uman also includes at least 1,600 children.
The Jewish pilgrims are coming to visit the final resting place of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the founder of the Breslov branch of Hasidic Judaism who lived in 18th and 19th centuries. This year, the Jewish faithful will be celebrating the coming of the new year starting from the evening of Sept. 29 to the evening of Oct. 1.
The State Border Service added that starting from Sept. 6, eight Israeli nationals were denied entry to Ukraine for various reasons including the lack of required documentation or travel bans after previous visits.
Ukraine’s National Police says no grave incidents or major offenses were observed at the pilgrimage site, although eight felony cases were registered, including theft, robbery, illegal possession of firearms and drugs.
The law and order at the pilgrimage site are being ensured by 500 Ukrainian and 20 Israeli police officers.