KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — Some 25,000 Jews from all over the world are expected to make the annual pilgrimage to the central Ukrainian city of Uman.
The first two groups of about 60 Chasidim arrived recently in Uman, home to the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, the founder and spiritual leader of the Bratslav Chasidic movement, to celebrate the Jewish New Year.
In the next 10 days, about 100 airplanes will fly between Tel Aviv and Kiev. On Sept. 15 alone, four days before Rosh Hashanah, 22 direct flights from Israel to Ukraine will ferry groups of pilgrims to area airports.
Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service expects that most of the pilgrims will arrive in organized groups at the Borispol International Airport in Kiev as well as the airports in Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Lvov and Vinnitsa. Others will take flights going through Hungary, Romania and Poland, which are less expensive. Some others will drive into the country.
At the airports and train stations, special areas will be designated for the pilgrims to pass through customs.
Passport control will be conducted directly on the planes during the chartered flights from Ben Gurion International Airport to Borispol Airport.
Rabbi Nachman was born in the city of Medzhybizh in 1772 and died in 1810 in Uman. Since then, Uman has become a mecca for Bratslaver Chasidim, particularly on Rosh Hashanah.
Uman city authorities told JTA that all necessary services are ready to properly receive the Jewish pilgrims.