Israeli-Ukrainian Ties Strengthened over Rosh Hashana Pilgrimage

This general view shows Hasidic Jewish pilgrims on a street next to the tomb of Rabbi Nachman ahead of the Jewish new year of “Rosh Hashanah", in Uman, central Ukraine, on September 15, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. - Over 20,000 Jewish pilgrims have arrived in Uman, Ukraine, for Rosh Hashanah, despite warnings from Kyiv not to travel for the religious holiday due to the Russian invasion. Thousands of Orthodox Jews come to Uman from Israel and other parts of the world every year to celebrate the holiday in the central Ukrainian city, one of the birthplaces of the Hasidic movement. (Photo by Genya SAVILOV / AFP)

In a heartfelt gesture that underscores the deepening ties between Israel and Ukraine, Israeli Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich recently held discussions with his Ukrainian counterpart, Serhiy Marchenko.

Amidst their official dialogue, Smotrich didn’t miss the opportunity to convey Israel’s sympathy for the challenges faced by the Ukrainian people. Extending a hopeful note for the upcoming year, he expressed the collective desire of the Israeli populace for a year filled with peace, resilience, and prosperity for Ukraine.

A significant portion of their conversation revolved around the immense gratitude of the Israeli government towards Ukraine for facilitating the passage of Israeli travelers who flocked to the Ukrainian city of Uman. This ancient city, a beacon of spirituality for many Jewish individuals, hosts thousands every year during Rosh Hashana.

Recognizing the importance of this pilgrimage and the subsequent return journey, both ministers deliberated on strategies to assist these travelers. They also decided to keep the channels of communication open for future discussions, highlighting the dynamic and cooperative nature of the Israel-Ukraine relationship. Notably, Michael Brodsky, the Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine, also played an instrumental role in these conversations.

In Conclusion: Israel, in its essence, values unity, cooperation, and the timeless ties that bind us to fellow nations. The recent dialogue between Israeli and Ukrainian ministers not only showcases a shared spirit of camaraderie but also reaffirms the importance of fostering international relationships based on mutual respect and understanding. Here’s to Israel – a beacon of hope, unity, and enduring friendship in a rapidly changing world.