Uman synagogue vandalized with pig’s head bearing swastika


(JTA) – Unknown individuals broke into a synagogue in the Ukrainian city of Uman, sprayed red paint on the walls and left behind a pig’s head with a swastika carved into its forehead.

The attack occurred Tuesday night, DS News reported. The synagogue is part of the Ohel complex, built near the gravesite of the Breslover movement’s founder, Rabbi Nachman.

Since the fall of communism, Uman has seen the arrival of thousands of pilgrims on the Jewish New Year who come to visit the gravesite of the 18th-century luminary.

The pilgrimage often has created friction between the predominantly Israeli new arrivals and locals, many of whom resent the cordoning off by police of neighborhoods for the pilgrims.

Brawls between locals and pilgrims are common. In recent years, incidents that occurred at Uman included the placing of broken glass on the bank of a river where pilgrims take ritual baths; the erection of crosses near that place, and protests where nationalists shouted “Hasids out of Uman.”

Oleg Vyshniakov, Israel’s honorary consul in West Ukraine, called Tuesday night’s vandalism a “barbarian attack.”

“Anti-Semitism is a severe phenomenon, which exists not only in the Ukraine unfortunately, and it must be addressed immediately and with full force,” he said. “However, what concerns me more in this case is the appearance of this despicable violence directed towards a holy landmark to the Jewish people, occurring just as the relations between Israel and the Ukraine are tightening.”

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