(New York Jewish Week) — Tens of thousands of marchers participated in Sunday’s Celebrate Israel parade, with school groups, synagogues and nonprofits waving Israeli flags honoring the country’s 75th birthday — and demonstrators urging the Netanyahu government to reject a judicial overhaul plan they consider anti-democratic.
Members of the group UnXeptable, made up largely of Israeli expats who oppose the judicial reform plans, joined a delegation from Ameinu, the former Labor Zionist Alliance, during the largely upbeat march along Fifth Avenue. At least five members of Israel’s governing coalition — including Member of Knesset Simcha Rothman, an architect of the judicial overhaul — took part in the parade.
Keep scrolling for some highlights of the day.
Humans of Judaism paid tribute to parade founder Ted Comet, 99, who began the New York City parade to celebrate Israel in 1965. (@HumansOfJudaism)
Mayor Eric Adams @NYCMayor gave some remarks — and posted these great shots of spectators along Fifth Ave. (@NYCMayor)
Nefesh B’Nefesh, the organization that helps Jews move to Israel, brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm. (Philissa Cramer)
A delegation from the Hebrew Public charter school network — whose Harlem outpost is set to close at the end of the school year — joined the throng marching up Fifth Ave. (Philissa Cramer)
As most years, a large contingent of marchers represented various Jewish day schools and yeshivas from the area. (@AdamMilstein)
Unlike most years, however, this year many demonstrators turned out to speak out against the Netanyahu government’s proposed judicial overhaul. Here, Times of Israel reporter Luke Tress captures people heckling Rothman, who grabbed a megaphone from a protestor in Midtown on Friday. (@luketress)
With some 1,000 participants, Ameinu was one of the biggest blocs of the parade. This was the first time in a dozen years that the group marched in the parade, and they came with a strong message for Israel’s right-wing government. They were joined by Rep. Jerry Nadler, the Upper West Side Democrat.
The group unfurled a large poster while marching up Fifth Ave. (@drill_josh)
The Forward’s senior political reporter captured this viral photo of Israel’s Diaspora Minister, Amichai Chikli, seemingly flipping the bird to pro-democracy demonstrators. In response to backlash online, Chikli said he was simply telling the protestors to smile. (@jacobkornbluh)
The legendary Dr. Ruth Westheimer celebrated her 95th birthday at the parade. (@CelebrateIsrael)
The parade’s organizers, the Jewish Community Relations Council-NY, livestreamed the event — you can watch the whole thing here: