Praying in Uman
The Israel Airports Authority is preparing for a mass departure of Breslov Hasidim to the city of Uman. Some 15,000 people are expected to travel to Ukraine for a visit to the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov on approximately 80 flights.
The Hasidim will embark on the traditional holiday journey in order to pray near the pious' gravestone during the Jewish New Year, between September 24 and 29. Seventeen flights are expected to take off on September 25 and 20 will leave on September 28.
Ben-Gurion Airport is preparing for an "airlift" operation which will take Breslov Hasidim abroad and bring them back to Israel between October 2 and 7.
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These estimates are based on the airport's year-long experience and on figures collected by the passenger service unit with the help of airport's rabbi, Nissim Elmaliach.
As part of the preparations, passengers' needs in a variety of services will be answered, including designated areas for flight registration, transportation of kosher food to Uman as cargo, designated passport control stands, prayer zones, and allocating offices to be used by travel agents.
Security checks for the Uman flights will open four hours before takeoff.
The kosher food packages required by the Hasidim will be sent through the airport's cargo terminal and not as passenger's luggage. Each traveler will be allowed to take a personal case of food for immediate need on the plane in coordination with the airline.