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Hotel in Ukraine Pilgrimage Town Bars Hasidic Guests

A hotel in Uman is refusing to rent out rooms to Jews, a leader of Ukraine’s Jewish community said.

Eduard Dolinsky, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, wrote Thursday on Facebook that an administrator at Uman City Plaza told him the policy was in place because the last time that Jews were allowed to stay at the hotel, it required repairs.

Each year around the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, Uman sees the arrival of approximately 25,000 Jewish pilgrims from Israel, the United States and Europe. They congregate there for the holiday because it is the final resting place of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, an 18th-century luminary, who is buried in Uman, and who called on his followers to be with him when he was alive on Rosh Hashanah.

Dolinsky said he called the hotel, a small establishment with just 17 rooms, because he read an online review by a Jew who was turned away.

“I didn’t believe it, so I called myself,” Dolinsky wrote. “Yes, indeed, rooms are not rented out to Jews,” was the reply, Dolinsky wrote, adding that the administrator said that “last time, repairs were necessary after the Jews stayed in the rooms.”

Most Jews who visit Uman stay in the Pushkina area, where Ukrainian police, along with Israeli officers who are sent especially for the holiday, restrict non-Jews, including locals, from entering during the holiday to prevent violence.

In Uman, many locals resent the Jewish pilgrimage because they say it invites criminality and does not contribute to the local economy because most pilgrims pay other Jews for various services, including housing in apartments in Pushkina and kosher food.

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