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30k Jewish Pilgrims Celebrate Rosh Hashana in Uman, Ukraine: Hasidic Leader Remembered

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Jews from across the world have celebrated Rosh Hashana in the Ukrainian city of Uman. As many as 30000 Jews flocked to the two-day celebration, centering on the tomb of Rebbe Nachman, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement who died in 1810. The visible Jewish presence in the city has in the past sparked tensions but this year's event has been largely problem free. Israeli consular chief Alon Shoham: "It's obvious there are two big populations and there are some cultural gaps between them, but their cooperation is quite good and it seems that it is very quiet and harmonious cooperation right now as we see." Last year's pilgrimage was disrupted by far-right extremists and Ukrainian police made close to 100 arrests. This year however, according Israeli officials, the celebrations passed peacefully and without incident. Israeli consular chief Alon Shoham: "The general feeling of all the pilgrims right now is that they are very comfortable, they are very thankful for all the efforts that are done - first of all, from the local population, which have quite a nice cooperation and a nice coordination, and also the local forces which is, first of all, the police force which has quite a serious number of representatives." After the collapse of communism, the number of Jews travelling to Uman has dramatically increased. Eastern Europe is one of the historical heartlands of the Jewish faith despite persecution during the Tsarist and Soviet regimes and more than 20% of Israelis ...
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