Opinion

ISRAEL TURNS 75

A celebration of Israel to bring all Jews together

It’s our connection to Judaism that ties us to each other, despite our differences.

The annual “Celebrate Israel Parade” in New York City. Credit: Courtesy.
The annual “Celebrate Israel Parade” in New York City. Credit: Courtesy.
The annual “Celebrate Israel Parade” in New York City. Credit: Courtesy.
JCRC-NY

“The entire people shall assemble as one” (Nehemiah 8:1). 

This June, coming from varied communities in New York and Long Island, as well as from different denominations of Judaism, we will be participating in the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York’s Celebrate Israel Parade—and we hope you will join us. The parade, like Israel itself, belongs to each of us in our own way.

This year the theme is “renewing the hope”—the hope that Israel will find lasting peace, the hope for the health and happiness of our brothers and sisters, and the hope that our differences will ultimately bring us closer.

Since the days of the Torah, our community has seen complicated dynamics, disagreements and different viewpoints. But like the past, it’s our connection to Judaism that ties us to each other, despite our differences. Each generation receives the sense of pride that comes with being descendants of their lineage. That sense of pride is what brings many to New York City to march up Fifth Avenue as part of the “Celebrate Israel Parade,” sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY).

As Israeli President Isaac Herzog said in a video about the parade: “Let us take this opportunity to walk together in solidarity and to remind ourselves of the power of our unity and togetherness of the spirit of peace and fraternity, to build and to renew and to heal.”

The parade, which has taken place in New York City since 1965, is a celebration of Israel and the American Jewish community’s connection to our shared homeland. This year’s parade will take place on Sunday, June 4, and honor the 75th anniversary of Israel with more than 40,000 participants representing 250-plus groups, more than 30 floats, dozens of Israeli and American musical performances, celebrity appearances, politicians and community leaders.

Events like the parade bridge the divide between us—whether political, religious or cultural. It’s a chance for us to gather as Jews and walk together, showing the world that we are one community, even when we disagree. As we honor 75 years of a Jewish homeland at the JCRC-NY “Celebrate Israel Parade,” we seek, as the theme of the parade says, to renew the hope.

Rabbi Rachel Ain, Sutton Place Synagogue

Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, Central Synagogue

Rabbi Howard Buechler, Dix Hills Jewish Center, Long Island

Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, Park Avenue Synagogue

Rabbi Joshua Davidson, Temple Emanu-El

Rabbi Steven Exler, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale-The Bayit 

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue

Rabbi David Ingber, Romemu

Rabbi Jon Leener, The Prospect Heights Shul

Rabbi Yaakov Lehrfield, Young Israel of Staten Island

Rabbi Susie Heneson Moskowitz, Temple Beth Torah, Long Island

Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Park East Synagogue

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, Forest Hills Jewish Center

Rabbi Michael Stanger, Old Westbury Hebrew, Congregation, Long Island

Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun

The annual “Celebrate Israel Parade” in New York City. Credit: Courtesy.
The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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