Israelis will soon be able to fly to Uman

Israel, Ukraine, work out plan to allow flights to resume, agree to appoint staffs to iron out details.

Ido Ben Porat ,

Jews in Uman
Jews in Uman
Yaakov Nachumi, Flash 90

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) on Thursday spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Arsen Borysovych Avakov, regarding reopening flights between the two countries.

The discussion was held following internal discussions and staff meetings, which Deri had held in his office. At the end of their lengthy discussion, Deri and Avakov succeeded in reaching agreements.

In the first stage, two staffs will be formed from both countries. The first staff will handle the issues of entry from both countries, and the option of allowing free entry for those who meet the criteria which will be determined.

The second staff will handle preparations for the absorption of thousands of Israelis expected to arrive in Uman, Ukraine, ahead of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), which is still six month away.

Immediately following the discussions and agreement on the plan, Deri sent the plan to the Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk. The plan was agreed on in full coordination with Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud).

"Although we still have time until Rosh Hashanah, we decided to handle this issue now and aid the tens of thousands of Israelis who travel throughout the year to Uman, and especially to the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman [of Breslov] on Rosh Hashanah," Deri said.

"I thank Interior Minister Avakov and Ambassador Korniychuk. The discussions were long but the result will help tens of thousands of believers."

Avakov praised Deri, saying: "I want to thank Minister Deri. He was determined to complete this process, and I believe that very soon the two staffs, the Israeli and Ukrainian, will submit their recommendations so that very soon, and certainly on Rosh Hashanah, Israelis will be able to return to Uman and pray."

Kiev's Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yonatan Markovitch, led the efforts to coordinate between the two ministers.