Ukraine has announced that it will allow vaccinated pilgrims from the State of Israel to cross borders for Rosh Hashanah. This decision came against the backdrop of the country delivering coronavirus vaccines to Ukraine, according to the Interior Ministry.
Arsen Avakov had a conversation over the telephone with Aryeh Deri, his counterpart in Israel, and made the statement shortly afterward.
In the past year, numerous Israeli pilgrims complained about not being able to visit the gravesite of the man who founded the Breslov Hassidic sect, Rabbi Nachman. His body has been buried in the city of Uman, in Ukraine. Traveling restrictions had been imposed last year due to the pandemic, which prevented travel across the border.
Many of these pilgrims who complained are known for regularly voting for Shas, which is the Sephardic Orthodox party, belonging to Deri. It has been an instrumental coalition partner for the Likud party, which also happens to be the political party that the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, belongs to. On Tuesday, the country is all set to have its general elections.
As of now, the current President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has been noticed slipping in the voting polls conducted. He is an actor who easily won in the last elections of 2019, however, his popularity is now suffering. This is because the coronavirus pandemic caused a lot of problems for the already-ailing economy of Ukraine. His party, Servant of the People, was not even able to win in the mayoral election held last year, in any of the major cities in the country.
The statement, which revealed that Ukraine will be permitting vaccinated pilgrims into the country, also talked about another discussion between Deri and Avakov. The two are hoping that the State of Israel will provide assistance to Ukraine to help the latter overcome the upcoming wave of the disease. It hopes that Israel will supply vaccines so that Ukraine can also run a successful vaccination campaign.
In other news, a bunch of Orthodox students from college joined hands via the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus program of the Orthodox Union (OU-JLIC) in order to help people get vaccinated. As a result, these students were successful in helping around 230 citizens of New York get inoculated.
As of now, this group of Orthodox students are based in downtown of Manhattan. They realized that a large number of senior citizens were having trouble setting up vaccination appointments for themselves over the internet. Moreover, there were those citizens as well who were not able to get vaccinated to the limited number of doses available to the general public.
The OU-JLIC, therefore, decided to contact local community centers and synagogues, to ask them to inform people to contact the volunteers, if they require any guidance.
A 67-year old man, Jeff Vogel, fell under the category of people eligible for vaccination. However, he was unable to find an appointment for himself. Assistance from the volunteers enabled him to receive both shots of the vaccine in no time.