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Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine: ‘Bring the attackers of Jewish youth to justice’

The staff of the Israeli Embassy in Ukraine, led by Ambassador Joel Leon, visited the city of Uman Wednesday in order to take a closer look at the preparations for the Rosh Hashanah holiday and against the backdrop of the anti-Semitic attack against a young Jewish man yesterday.

During their visit, they met with the district governor, the mayor, representatives of the police, the hospitals and the emergency organizations in Uman. A meeting was also and held with the heads of the Breslov Hasidic movement in the city.

In the meeting with the district governor, it was agreed to open a direct channel between the governor and the ambassador to address issues that may arise during the holidays and the annual mass pilgrimage to the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the city of Uman. Representatives of the Breslov Hasidim presented their preparations for Rosh Hashanah to the ambassador.

Ambassador Leon said following the visit: “We consider it important to hold a meeting with the authorities in the city of Uman, in order to coordinate the activities of all bodies in the city. I asked the city authorities to deal resolutely with the anti-Semitic incidents and bring to justice Moshe Tanzer’s attackers.”

Following violent incidents in recent days between Uman residents and Hasidim, local police have decided to deploy 500 police officers across the city in order to prevent similar incidents.

A Jewish man was injured during an attack by Ukrainian youths in the town of Uman Tuesday, according to local media reports.

A group of local youths reportedly attacked several Breslov Hasidim in Uman, which is a popular pilgrimage site for members of the Breslov movement, while the Hasidim were shopping in a store.

One of the Hasidim was injured in his nose and was treated for the injury.

Authorities in Uman have opened an investigation into the incident.

Late last week, a group of locals attacked a number of Hasidic Jews after demanding that they leave the town.

On Monday, it was reported that a Jewish man visiting Uman had tested positive for the coronavirus. Representatives of the Breslov Hasidic movement confirmed that a 20-year-old Breslov Hasid had in fact tested positive for the virus after landing in the Ukraine last week.

Ukraine has imposed a ban on the entry of non-citizens beginning Tuesday, ahead of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays.

The town of Uman is a popular destination for Breslov Hasidim during the two holidays, with tens of thousands of pilgrims visiting the grave of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov in Uman during the holiday season each year.

With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, however, Ukraine has sought to block visitors from holding mass gatherings in Uman, and in August announced it would impose a ban on entry to all foreign nationals until September 28th, after the Yom Kippur holiday.

Source: Arutz Sheva


Meanwhile, the Israel Hayom newspaper, citing Ukrainian media, said a fire broke out at a Jewish cemetery Monday and that firefighters managed to control the blaze, which had been exacerbated by the large amount of dry grass in the area.

Authorities reportedly believed the fire was sparked by a combination of the intense heat and dry foliage, but would not rule out the possibility of arson.

The fire came days after clashes between locals and Hasidic Jews trying to enter the city for an annual pilgrimage.

Videos posted to social media showed angry crowds confronting the pilgrims before dawn Friday, just before a ban on foreigners entering the country due to coronavirus went into effect, pushing and shoving them as they tried to prevent them from entering apartments they had rented.

Residents yelled at the pilgrims to get out and told them they were behaving dangerously.

Each year, tens of thousands of pilgrims, mostly from Israel, have gathered for the Jewish New Year in Uman, home to the burial place of Rabbi Nachman, an 18th-century luminary and founder of the Bratslav Hasidic movement. During his lifetime the rabbi had called on his followers to be with him on Rosh Hashanah.

Source: TOI