Huge Crowds Expected at Ben Gurion for High Holidays

Some 1.4 million travelers are expected to pass through Ben Gurion Airport into and out of Israel during the High Holiday period.

Moshe Cohen,

People at airport (illustration)
People at airport (illustration)
Flash 90

Some 1.4 million travelers are expected to pass through Ben Gurion Airport into and out of Israel during the High Holiday and Sukkot period. Sunday will be one of the biggest days ever at Ben Gurion, with about 70,000 travelers passing through the airport, officials said.

The airport will take on a decidedly Hassidic character on Monday and Tuesday. About 20,000 members of the Breslov Hassidic sect will be traveling to Uman, the Ukranian town where the group's founder, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, is buried. Celebrating the Jewish New Year at the site is a long-standing Breslov tradition, and about 100 flights – mostly charters – are set to depart for the Ukrainian city between Monday and the hours before the start of the Rosh Hashana holiday.

On Yom Kippur Eve, which occurs a week from Friday, Ben Gurion Airport will close to incoming and outgoing traffic beginning at 2 p.m., as the airport closes down for the holiday. On Saturday night October 14, with the conclusion of the holiday, planes will begin arriving at 10:30 p.m., with the first departure at 11 p.m.

Among Israelis traveling during the holiday period, the most popular destinations are Greece, Turkey, Italy, the US, Germany, and France, travel agents said.

In light of the extra traffic over the coming weeks, Airports Authority officials recommend that travelers get to Ben Gurion to begin the checkin process at least three hours before their flight.








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