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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘parade’

Marchers Danced Through Rain at 2015 NY Israel Day Parade

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Parents carried little ones on their shoulders, and held five-year-old children by the hand. Older children gripped their blue-and-white flags tightly and waved them in the breeze as the marching bands played music to dance by — some of them not understand the tears in their grandparents’ eyes.

Tens of thousands of Jews turned out Sunday (May 31) to show their pride in being Jewish, in their visceral connection to the Jewish State, the reborn State of Israel. Politics aside, military threat aside, Israel’s desire for peace was in citywide evidence in the very theme for the event: “Israel Imagines Peace.”

Sponsored by some 35 organizations that included the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, the government of the State of Israel and the UJA Federation, this year’s lineup featured some 40,000 marchers, according to UJA Federation CEO Eric Goldstein.

This year’s Grand Marshals were two representatives for the Russian-speaking Jewish community, Alan Meskin and Angela Reyzelman. “Jews originating from the Soviet Union were instrumental builders and warriors of the State of Israel and also directly benefited from the creation of the state in 1948, as for many, Israel became a safe haven, a land of opportunity and a new home,” explained organizers on the Celebrate Israel New York (CelebrateIsraelNY) website.

Representing the State of Israel were Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York; Science, Technology & Space Minister Danny Danon; and Minister Without Portfolio Ofir Akunis. Also marching were Knesset Members Yoav Ben-Tzur, Avraham Nagosa, Ksenia Svetlov and Revital Sweid.

Numerous prominent Jewish personalities participated in the parade; Dr. Ruth Westheimer made a surprise appearance as well, telling FOX television co-anchor Becky Griffin: “It is very important to support this parade, especially today… Imagine living with a Palestinian neighbor, and everyone living in peace – that’s the most important thing for you and me.”

At least 100,000 people lined both sides of Fifth Avenue to watch the marchers make their way up the famous avenue from 57th Street to 74th Street.

Marching up Fifth Avenue. The parade seemed endless.

Marching up Fifth Avenue. The parade seemed endless.

The New York Police Department’s Shomrim Society — the organization of Jewish police officers — was one of the first groups to lead off the parade, as always. The city’s Fire Department also marched, as it does to honor every ethnicity in New York, most of whom are also represented on the force as well.

The parade stepped off at 11 am and continued through until 3pm; at about 2 pm, a light rain began to fall on marchers and spectators – but no one paid any attention to the droplets.

Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center was also represented at the parade.

Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center was also represented at the parade.

“This year’s parade is the largest in the history of the event,” JCRC executive vice president and CEO Michael Miller smiled. “Next year it will be just as big – if not bigger!,” he added.

Perhaps the group that summed up the experience best was RAJE, the Russian American Jewish Experience, which ran the banner, “Let My People Know!”

Coalition Chair’s Letter of Praise for 100 Shofars Protest in NYC

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Protesters who plan to demonstrate today at the world’s largest shofar-blowing event in history in New York City have drawn praise from the Israeli government coalition chairman, who expressed his admiration for their “courage.”

Israeli government coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin  is “deeply moved” by demonstrators who are to gather to protest participation in the Israel Day Parade of groups promoting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

In a letter sent to Richard Allen, founder of JCCWatch – organizer of the rally being held in New York – Levin praised the rally, set for Tuesday April 29 at  5 pm, “courageous stance of so many friends of Israel involved in the parade, calling to delegitimize those who delegitimize Israel.

“It is not logical or reasonable for Israel supporters to condone or overlook or indirectly cooperate with BDS groups which represent the antithesis of support for Israel. Refusing to recognize the State of Israel’s sovereign right to develop and maintain an independent legal position on any issue of national importance is not legitimate.”

The UJA-Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) which sponsors the annual Israel Day Parade, agreed this year to permit a number of anti-Israel groups to march this year in the parade, setting off a tsunami of protest over their participation. Among those  are:

  • Partners for Progressive Israel: which encourages the public to boycott Ahava Cosmetics, SodaStream and wine from nine Israeli vineyards.
  • The New Israel Fund: which finances NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that promote BDS activities against Israel. NIF funds Machsom Watch, the Coalition of Women for Peace, Women Against violence, Social TV and Mossawa, all of which signed a letter to the Norwegian government pension fund, urging it to divest from Israel.
  • B’Tselem: A major recipient of funds from NIF, the group has produced the anti-israel video shown at Israel Apartheid Week events held at various universities around the world. The organization’s board chairman, Oren Yiftachel, has publicly called for “effective sanctions” against Israel.

The rally, promoted as the “largest shofar blowing event in Jewish history,” is set to take place this afternoon (April 29) at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time (New York City) in front of the UJA-Federation building at 130 East 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. Participants are urged to bring their shofars to the rally. Those who do not have a shofar but who wish to participate can receive one to use on site.

Scheduled speakers include Rabbi David Algaze from the World Committee for the Land of Israel / Havurat Yisrael; Richard Allen, JCCWatch; Dr. Paul Brody of the Jewish Political Education Foundation; Helen Freedman of Americans for a Safe Israel; Beth Gilinsky of National Conference on Jewish Affairs; Mort Klein, head of Zionist Organization of America; Robert Muchnick of Manhigut Yehudit, and Lauri Regan of Endowment for Middle East Truth.

Using Donkeys to Kill Sacred Cows?

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Some 5,000 people marched in Jerusalem’s “Gay Pride” parade on Thursday, upsetting many residents and contributing very little to the spirit of tolerance. While in Tel-Aviv the parade enjoys massive local support, the insistence on conducting it in the holiest city in the world regularly upsets even liberal minded religious Jews.

Some Orthodox Jewish men gathered in the Meah Shearim neighborhood to protest the parade with a counter-parade featuring a small herd of donkeys adorned with sheets with the slogan: Proud Donkey. (We could have used the other, legitimate English word for Equus africanus asinus, but there must be several considerations of good taste and proper style why we shouldn’t in this context.)

Jews Clash in Queer Toronto Over Inclusion of BDS Group in Parade

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

A Jewish gay and lesbian group has submitted a request to the Pride Toronto arbitration panel, asking the gay pride parade organizers to ban anti-Israel group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from the festival, according to a report in the Toronto Star.

Jewish homosexual group Kulanu Toronto filed a complaint on Friday against QuAIA’s participation in the July 1 parade, stating that “QuAIA’s “behavior and rhetoric are hurtful to Jewish parade participants and to supporters of Israel”.  According to Kulanu, QuAIA’s comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa is offensive and untrue.  In an e-mail to the Star, Kulanu executive director Justine Apple accused QuAIA of “hijacking the parade with their anti-Israel propaganda,” and alienating the people of Toronto with their “hateful, hostile messaging”.

Queers Against Israel Apartheid

Queers Against Israel Apartheid

The Star reported that the dispute resolution committee will review the complaint, but may not be able to render a decision in time for the event.

Last week, the Toronto city council voted to condemn the use of the phrase “Israel apartheid,” but also granted $124,000 in funding to the pride parade regardless of QuAIA’s ability to participate.  In 2010, a decision to ban QuAIA from the annual parade was overturned due to pressure from Canadian homosexuals.  In 2011, the city of Toronto threatened to cut funding to the parade if QuAIA was allowed to participate.  In response, QuAIA pulled out of the event, holding an event in favor of BDS (boycotting, divestment, and sanctions) instead.

In January, Tel Aviv was named the Best Gay City of 2011 in an international American Airlines competition choosing the most popular destinations among LGTB tourists.

Students See Support at Israel Parade

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Visit http://israelcampusbeat.org for the latest Israel trends and events on campus.

Multiple student delegations joined tens of thousands of New Yorkers on Sunday as they marched down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan for the Celebrate Israel Parade, sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY).

About a dozen college campuses, including Brown University, Queens College, New York University, Columbia University, Yeshiva University and Cornell University, were represented by student delegations in the parade, which has been an annual fixture for the past 48 years.

“It’s really inspiring to see such a huge amount of people come out, despite long waits and a bit of rain, to show their support of Israel,” said Aliza Ben-Arie, who is president of New York University’s Israel club. “It’s a side of the Jewish world I don’t see as often as I’d like to, and it’s empowering to see it happen.

Eli Shaubi, the incoming co-president of the Cornell Israel Public Affairs Committee, remarked, “It is really meaningful for me to be able to come out here and enjoy a fun afternoon with such a large variety of people. It’s important to remember that there is a wider pro-Israel community out there supporting you, and that we are one cog in the wheel, doing our part in advocating for Israel.”

The spokesman of the Israeli Consulate in New York, Shahar Azani, said after the parade, “Israel welcomes the participation of all community members in the Celebrate Israel Parade, and especially campus activists for Israel, as they witness the level of support Israel enjoys in the general public and are able to engage and network with other supporters of Israel. We hope to see many more every year.”

New York Goes All White and Blue for Annual Israel Parade

Monday, June 4th, 2012

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg were among the dignitaries who marched in Sunday’s annual Celebrate Israel Parade in the Big Apple.

They joined tens of thousands of marchers who paraded up Fifth Avenue under blue, sunny skies amid a sea of blue-and-white Israeli flags. The parade, now in its 48th year, is America’s biggest annual show of support for Israel by the numbers.

Marchers included Jewish day school contingents, the Chai Riders motorcycle club, non-Jewish marching bands, and a contingent from Israel Guide Dogs for the Blind, among some 200 organizations. Israeli consuls and some government officials also marched.

The theme of this year’s parade was “Israel Branches Out”

The parade was preceded by a four-mile Celebrate Israel run through Central Park.

Jerusalem Day Parade

Monday, May 21st, 2012

30,000 boy and girls from schools around the country participated in the Jerusalem Day Dance and Flag Parade on Sunday, May 20, 2012.

The parade began with dancing in front of the Great Synagogue, followed by a march to the Old City, walking through the gates of Jerusalem, and finally, culminating at the Kotel.

The parade celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.

Photo Credits: Stephen Leavitt, Flash90: Noam Moskowitz,  Miriam Alster

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/jerusalem-day-parade/2012/05/21/

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