Photo Credit: JCRC-NY

After a three-year hiatus, the annual New York City Celebrate Israel Parade, a project of JCRC-NY, returns to Fifth Avenue today (Sunday, March 22), starting at 57th Street. This year’s theme, “Together Again” dominated at the parade, considered the world’s largest gathering to celebrate the State of Israel.

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Some 40,000 people from 250 different groups were marching in the parade, including top Israeli and US lawmakers, community leaders and politicians, among them New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and NYS Attorney General Letitia James. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai, Immigration and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata and Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan represented the Jewish State, as well Likud MK Ofir Akunis, and Labor MK Giald Kariv.

In order to participate, marchers must identify with Israel, recognize it as the Jewish homeland and not support the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) economic war on the Jewish State.

“I think in a world that’s so fractured, and in the Jewish community that also is often fractured and divided, it is so central and so important that we can come together for one day and in one place and at one time,” said JCRC-NY head Gideon Taylor. ““Whatever differences we have, whether we’re left, right, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform; whatever we are, we can come together and say, ‘Yes there is a lot that unites us,’ and that’s important for us as a community,” he added.

““I think if you want to send a message of engagement with and support for Israel, to celebrate Israel, you have to show up and you have to be there.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.