Celebrate Israel On Fifth Avenue


‘What can I do to help Israel?”

It’s a question we often ask ourselves, and hear from others, particularly at times like this of great anxiety about Israel’s future.

The answer is to get involved, and one tangible and immediate way to do that is to participate in Celebrate Israel, the annual Israel Day parade — the biggest of its kind anywhere — that takes place this Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., up Fifth Avenue from 57th Street to 74th Street, rain or shine.

The fact is our community has become increasingly divided over Israeli policy — hold firm or make concessions, show “tough love” or support the prime minister — to the point that we argue bitterly over what it even means to be “pro-Israel.” But Sunday is a day to put aside our differences and focus on what all who feel a bond with the Jewish state can agree on — namely the fact that the Jewish people have a homeland of their own after 2,000 years of exile, a nation struggling against great odds to be not only a safe haven for Jews from around the world but a democratic society that strives to embody the ideals of our ancient tradition.

A project of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, this year’s parade will feature marching bands, American and Israeli musical acts and an expected 30,000 participants. For the first time, it will include a pre-parade four-mile Celebrate Israel Run, with thousands taking part, and will be televised live (from noon to 2 p.m.) on WWOR-TV Channel 9.

The annual parade gives us the opportunity to raise our voices, and feet, and take pride in our heritage and community. Show you care. Be there.