(JTA) — Unknown assailants robbed $50,000 from haredi Orthodox Jews in Uman, Ukrainian authorities said.
The Ukrainian newspaper Segodnia reported that the robbery occurred on July 20 at the headquarters of a nonprofit group that works to accommodate the tens of thousands of followers of the Breslaver rebbe who will pour into Uman for the High Holidays in September.
The money was meant to create better infrastructure for the pilgrims, according to the report.
Natalia Taran, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s spokeswoman for the Cherkasy region in central Ukraine, was quoted as saying the assailants physically attacked at least one worker of the group helping the pilgrims.
According to the report, the robbers took a safe containing the money after beating a local security guard.
The Breslavers come to Uman to pray near the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav, who founded the Breslaver movement.
Shimon Buskilla, an organizer for the WorldBreslavCenter nonprofit that co-organizes the pilgrimage, was quoted as telling the Israel-based news site Behadrey Haredim that the police were confident they would catch the assailants.
Last week, Behadrey Haredim reported that the mayor of Uman ordered a halt to earthwork near the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman following protests by haredim who feared that new earth brought in by contractors may contain human bones that would render the gravesite impure according to the Orthodox Jewish view.
Local Jews arranged for earth free of bone fragments to be delivered instead, according to the website.