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Hasidim residence in Uman


Coat of arms
Map of Ukraine with Uman highlighted.
Uman is located in Ukraine
Location of Uman
Coordinates: 48°45′0″N 30°13′0″E / 48.75°N 30.216667°E / 48.75; 30.216667
Cherkasy Oblast
Umanskyi Raion
First mentioned 1616
City rights 1795
 - Mayor Yuri Bodrov
 - Total 41 km2 (15.8 sq mi)
Elevation 166 m (545 ft)
Population (2008)
 - Total 100,000
 - Density 2,154/km2 (5,578.8/sq mi)
Postal code 20300
Area code(s) +380 4744

Uman (Ukrainian: Умань, translit. Uman’; also referred to in Polish as Humań and in Yiddish as Imen' with palatized n) is a city located in the Cherkasy Oblast (province) in central Ukraine, to the east of Vinnytsia. The city rests on the banks of the Umanka River at around 48°45′N 30°13′E / 48.75°N 30.217°E / 48.75; 30.217, and serves as the administrative center of the Umanskyi Raion (district), however the city itself is also designated as a separate region within the oblast.

The current estimated population is 100,000 (as of 2008).

Among Jews, Uman is famous as the burial site of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. An annual pilgrimage to the Rebbe's gravesite at Rosh Hashana (the Jewish new year) attracts tens of thousands of people from around the world.



Uman is known since 1616 as a defensive fort built against Tatar raids and a prominent Cossack regiment was stationed in the town. In 1670–1674, Uman was a residence of the Hetman of right-bank Ukraine.

The 1768 Massacre of Uman occurred after Cossack (Haydamak) rebels Maksym Zalizniak and Ivan Gonta captured Uman during anti-Polish uprising known as "Koliyivschyna" in the area (Uman's modern coat-of-arms commemorates the event depicting a "Koliy" rebel armed with a spear). Tens of thousands of Polish nobles and Jews from the surrounding areas fled to the Cossack garrison in Uman for protection from the Haydamaks. The military commander of Uman betrayed the city and let in the Haydamaks in exchange for sparing all the gentiles. In the space of three days, approximately 20,000 Poles and Jews were slain.[1]

In 1793, Uman became part of the Russian Empire and a number of aristocratic residences were built there. Uman's landmark is a famous park complex, Sofiyivka (Софiївка; Polish: Zofiówka), founded in 1796 by Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki, a noble Polish szlachcic, who named it for his wife Sofia. The park features a number of waterfalls and narrow, arching stone bridges crossing the streams and scenic ravines. About this park, Rebbe Nachman himself said, "To be in Uman and not go there?"[1]

Jewish community

A large Jewish community lived in Uman in the 18th and 19th centuries. During the Second World War, in 1941, the Battle of Uman took place in the vicinity of the town, where the German army encircled Soviet positions. The Germans deported the entire Jewish community, murdering some 17,000 Jews,[1] and completely destroyed the Jewish cemetery, burial place of the martyrs of the 1768 Massacre of Uman as well as Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. (After the war, a Breslov Hasid managed to locate the Rebbe's grave and preserved it when the Soviets turned the entire area into a housing project.[1])

Pilgrimage to Rebbe Nachman's grave

Every Rosh Hashana, there is a major pilgrimage by tens of thousands of Hasidim and others from around the world to the burial site of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, located on the former site of the Jewish cemetery in a rebuilt synagogue. Rebbe Nachman spent the last five months of his life in Uman,[2] and specifically requested to be buried here.

The Rosh Hashana pilgrimage dates back to 1811, when the Rebbe's foremost disciple, Nathan of Breslov, organized the first such pilgrimage on the Rosh Hashana after the Rebbe's death. The annual pilgrimage attracted hundreds of Hasidim from Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Poland throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, until the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 sealed the border between Russia and Poland. A handful of Russian Hasidim continued to make the pilgrimage clandestinely; some were discovered by the KGB and exiled to Siberia, where they died. The pilgrimage ceased during World War II and resumed on a drastically smaller scale in 1948. From the 1960s until the fall of Communism in 1989, several hundred American and Israeli Hasidim made their way to Uman, both legally and illegally, to pray at the grave of Rebbe Nachman. In 1988, the Soviets allowed 250 men to visit the Rebbe's grave for Rosh Hashana; the following year, over 1,000 Hasidim gathered in Uman for Rosh Hashana 1989. In 1990, 2,000 Hasidim attended.[1][3] In 2008, attendance reached 25,000 men and boys.[4]

The Soviet general Ivan Chernyakhovsky, as well as the Yiddish poet Ezra Fininberg and the Yiddish writer Hershl Polyanker were born in Uman.

See also

Twin Towns - Sister Cities

Uman is twinned with:


  1. ^ a b c d e "Uman! Uman! Rosh HaShanah! A guide to Rebbe Nachman's Rosh HaShanah in Uman".
  2. ^ Kaplan, Aryeh (1985). "Until the Mashiach: Rabbi Nachman's biography: an annotated chronology". Jerusalem/New York: Breslov Research Institute. Chapter 24: Uman 5570 (1810).
  3. ^ See the article "A New Phase in Jewish-Ukrainian Relations" by Mitsuharo Akao; bibliographical details at
  4. ^ "Hasidic Jews celebrate holiday in Uman" Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  5. ^ "Łańcut Official Website - Foreign contacts". Uk flag.gif(in English) © 2008 Urząd Miejski w Łańcucie, Plac Sobieskiego 18, 37-100 Łańcut. Retrieved 2008-11-20.  


  • (Ukrainian) (1972) Icтopia мicт i ciл Укpaїнcькoї CCP - Черкаськa область (History of Towns and Villages of the Ukrainian SSR - Cherkasy Oblast), Kyiv.
  • (English) Uman in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

UMAN, a town of Russia, in the government of Kiev, 120 m. S. of the city of Kiev. Pop. 28,628, many of whom are Jews, and carry on the export of corn, spirits, &c. It has a park (290 acres), planted in 1793 by Count Potocki, and now containing a gardening school. Uman was founded early in the 17th century as a fort against the Tatar raiders. The Cossacks of the Ukraine, who kept it, revolted against their Polish rulers about 1665, and sustained a fierce siege. In 1674 it was plundered and most of its inhabitants murdered by the Ukrainians and Turks. In 1712 its last occupants were transferred by Peter the Great to the left bank of the Dnieper. But by the end of the 8th century, when it again became the property of the Potockis, it was repeopled and became one of the busiest trading towns of Little Russia. In 1768, when the Cossacks revolted anew against the Poles, they took Uman and murdered most of its inhabitants.

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