Missionary pamphlets in Uman
Missionary pamphlets in UmanOr L'Achim

The gathering in Uman around Rosh Hashanah draws Christian missionaries as well as Jewish worshipers.. Rabbi Binyamin Vulkan, director of the department for the fight against missionary activity in the Or L'Achim organization, says this has been the case for some time.

"This phenomenon where flyers and brochures are distributed at the entrance to homes has been happening for the last three years. This year thousands of copies were distributed," says Rabbi Vulkan. "In light of past events, we prepared groups of volunteers to watch for missionary activity, send out text messages, and similar initiatives, but it only gets worse."

"We do not know who the missionaries are, whether it is local Ukrainians who distribute materials in Hebrew, or a missionary hiding among the tens of thousands who come from Israel. The materials distributed are in Hebrew and they are published in Israel," says Rabbi Vulkan. Dozens of activists gathered to search for pamphlets and destroy them.

According to Rabbi Vulkan, the texts in the booklets in question are generic and have not been adapted specifically for those arriving at Uman or to pertain to the Tishrei holidays. "Not everyone in Uman is an ultra-Orthodox person. Many traditional people come looking for spirituality and when they find a booklet at the entrance to their guest house they think it is a booklet published by the Breslov community. They pick it up and find Messianic Christianity instead."

According to Rabbi Vulkan, the distribution of these pamphlets took place during the noontime hours, when worshippers typically gather around the shrine of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. This makes the residential areas lightly travelled and an unchallenging target for missionaries.