Pilgrims, mostly affiliated with the Breslov Chassidim, arrive in advance of Sept. 15—the first day of Rosh Hashanah—with many staying until after Sukkot, which begins on Sept. 29.
The Uman Chapter of United Hatzalah completed preparations on Tuesday for the expected thousands of pilgrims who come annually to the city for the Jewish High Holidays.
Pilgrims, mostly affiliated with the Breslov Chassidim and a great many from Israel, arrive before Sept. 15—the first day of Rosh Hashanah—with many staying until after Sukkot, which starts on Sept. 29. They come in large part to visit the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.
Volunteers from the United Hatzalah branch in the city, who operate throughout the year in Uman and in other parts of Ukraine, will be reinforced by those coming from Israel, the United States and other countries for the duration of the holidays. The teams undertook preparations weeks ago and have set up first-aid stations and a medical clinic in partnership with the local Breslov community.
“Each year, our volunteers see an astronomical rise in emergency calls during Rosh Hashanah due to the influx of tens of thousands of visitors for the holiday,” says Lazar Hyman, vice president of the Volunteer Department for United Hatzalah. “We have extra ambulances this year, as well as ATVs and additional medical equipment that we have brought and prepared both at the basic life-support level (BLS) and the advanced life-support level (ALS). Local volunteers and those coming for the holiday will be outfitted with the most advanced equipment and technology to safeguard the health and lives of those in attendance.”
The team in Uman has also taken on a more significant role these past two years during the war between Russia and Ukraine.
To that end, notes Hyman, “we are working together with the local authorities in Ukraine in order to safeguard those coming to celebrate the holiday here.”
Featured Image: Ambulance drivers affiliated with United Hatzalah prepare for large numbers of annual Jewish visitors to Uman, Ukraine, for the High Holidays, September 2023. Credit: United Hatzalah.