Jews barred from Ukraine for annual pilgrimage


(JTA) – Breslov Hasidim were barred from entering Ukraine for the annual Jewish New Year’s pilgrimage to Uman.
Passengers on at least two flights from London and Paris were prevented from entering the country, according to reports. The flights were full of Israeli and American haredim. Another group of followers attempted to cross into Ukraine from Belarus but were detained.
Ukraine last week closed its borders to foreigners until at least Sept. 28, which is Yom Kippur.
The Israeli government is working to figure out how to allow some Israelis to make the trip, even as the country’s coronavirus czar says the pilgrimage should not take place amid the coronavirus pandemic and would-be pilgrims are protesting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his efforts to minimize this year’s journey.
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 Breslov Hasidic movement.