Yevhen Korniychuk, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel, and David Niederman, President of Ukraine’s United Jewish Organizations, and Nathan Ben-Nun, President of Rabbi Nachman International Charitable Foundation, met last week to decide on preparations for the next Breslov Chassidim’s pilgrimage to Uman on Rosh Hashanah, the Ukrainian embassy reported.
According to the embassy, “the main topic of conversation was the visit to the tomb of Tzaddik Nachman (sic.) by pilgrims who come to Uman during the celebration of the Jewish New Year and other religious holidays from around the world, including Israel and the United States.”
The statement continued: “Ambassador Korniychuk stressed that the Ukrainian side is ready to provide full assistance in organizing the current Chassidic pilgrimage in compliance with security rules in a global pandemic and the requirements of Ukrainian law.”
The three also discussed customs and border procedures during visits to Ukraine, as well as cooperation with Ukrainian law enforcement agencies.
“The interlocutors confirmed their readiness to cooperate in areas related to the infrastructure of the city of Uman and the preservation of Jewish burials,” the Embassy noted.
Last year, the Ukraine Ministry of Internal Affairs barred all Chassidim and Orthodox Jews from making the annual pilgrimage to the Tomb of Rebbe Nachman of Uman, founder of the Breslov Chassidic sect and a great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, during the Rosh Hashanah holiday. Ukraine barred Israeli Jews citing the surging COVID-19 pandemic in the Jewish State and the placement of Israel on the European Union’s “red list” of states where direct travel is heavily restricted.
“This has nothing to do with politics or anti-Semitism, and we reject any claims which try to present it as such,” Uman Mayor Oleksander Tsebriy told Reuters last August. “The common opinion is that the arrival of tens of thousands of Chassidic pilgrims to Uman to conduct the celebration in the traditional format is impossible,” he added, citing “the difficulty of monitoring compliance with the required safety measures.”