The Lakewood, New Jersey-based Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce reported that its efforts to shine a light on corruption in Uman, Ukraine, have met with success this year.
As tens of thousands of Jews from around the world converged on the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov for Rosh Hashana, employees of the local utility authority attempted to extort bribes from local Jewish vendors, demanding hundreds of dollars from each so that they could continue operating. Only this time – for the first time ever – they got arrested.
This follows an intense lobbying effort to President Volodomyr Zelensky. Shortly before Rosh Hashana, Zelensky appointed a special commission to deal with the issues.
“The Chamber would like to thank President Zelensky and Ukrainian authorities for taking bold steps to end corruption and provide justice to Uman’s Jewish businesses, tourists and religious leaders,” says Duvi Honig, founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce. “We will continue working with government officials and business leaders from around the world to promote and protect the interests of Jewish businesses and institutions to the mutual benefit of our community and society at large.”
More than 1,600 people received emergency medical treatment by United Hatzalah volunteers who were stationed in Uman to provide first aid care for the tens of thousands of people who spent the holiday in the city.