Despite, or possibly due to, tensions between the Israeli government and American Jewry, a significant number of government ministers and officials is expected to head to New York City next month.
The “Celebrate Israel Parade” on Sunday, June 4, along with two Israel-related conferences at the start of that week, are set to draw nine Israeli ministers to the city. According to news reports, that is thought to be the highest number to participate since the inception of the parade in 1965, which is meant to show support for Israel by the New York-area Jewish community.
The parade, with this year’s theme of “Israel @ 75: Renewing the Hope,” is organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) and United Jewish Appeal (UJA) of New York and Greater New Jersey. It draws hundreds of thousands of spectators from the region each year, along with city and state politicians and dignitaries.
Ministers set to participate this year include Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat, Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Ofir Akunis, Minister of Intelligence Gila Gamliel, Minister of Labor Yoav Ben-Tzur, Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Social Equality Amichai Chikli, Minister of Information Galit Distel-Atbaryan, Minister of Immigration and Absorption Ofir Sofer, Minister of Heritage Amihai Eliyahu and Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Jewish Tradition Meir Porush.
New York City, which is home to a largely liberal Jewish community, has seen occasional anti-Israeli government protests since the inception of the current government late last year. No organizations have yet to announce plans to protest at the parade site.
The festivities include floats, marching bands and musical performers that make their way up Fifth Avenue from 57th Street to 74th Street.
The Israeli consulate in New York handles logistics for visiting government officials. A spokesperson for the consulate did not reply to a JNS inquiry about how it intends to handle accommodations, travel and security for such a sizable ministerial delegation.