2017-09-13 / World News

Ukrainian authorities prepare for Uman pilgrimage

Ukrainian authorities are preparing for a record pilgrimage by tens of thousands of Jews gathering in the city of Uman for Rosh Hashanah.

Authorities are expecting up to 40,000 Jewish pilgrims ahead of the Jewish New Year, which this year falls on Sept. 20, the Ukrainian Government Press office told the ZN news website.

In previous years, local authorities estimated that the annual pilgrimage brought 25,000 to 30,000 visitors to Uman—followers of Rabbi Nachman, an 18th-century luminary whose gravesite is the focal point of the celebration. Rescue forces are carrying out exercises at the main congregation points of the visitors to be able to respond effectively to any emergency, the Unian news agency reported.

Authorities in Ukraine have improved access to Uman in recent years, with plans underway for reopening a disused military airport near the city for direct flights. Uman is located in central Ukraine, 150 miles south of Kiev and 200 miles south of Odessa.(JTA)

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