Jewish Agency representatives march at Israel Day parade, call for release of hostages

The organization also took part in a rally in Budapest, where hundreds of community members gathered to show their support for Israel.

Jewish Agency for Israel emissaries seen at the Israel on Fifth Parade in New York City. Photo by Jennifer Roman.
Jewish Agency for Israel emissaries seen at the Israel on Fifth Parade in New York City. Photo by Jennifer Roman.

Senior officials from the Jewish Agency for Israel participated in the annual Israel Day on Fifth parade in New York City on Sunday.

Mark Wilf, chairman of the Jewish Agency’s board of governors, and Yehuda Setton, deputy director general of the Jewish Agency, led the organization’s delegation at the parade along with dozens of Jewish Agency shlichim (Israel emissaries) who are based in communities and college campuses across the United States.

Before the parade, a reception was held at the Jewish Agency’s offices in New York where they called for the release of the remaining hostages in the Gaza Strip.

Also on Sunday, Jewish Agency representatives took part in an event in Budapest where thousands of members of the Jewish community and community leaders rallied in solidarity with Israel. The event in Hungary was just one of many held around the world in support of Israel that were organized by Jewish Agency shlichim that have taken place around Israel’s Independence Day and during the “Swords of Iron” war.  

In Budapest, participants held up the longest yellow ribbon in Europe that ran some 100 meters (nearly 330 feet). It has come to represent the movement calling to free the 100-plus hostages still being held captive by Hamas in Gaza since the terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Attending the event in Hungary was Rotem Greenglick, sister of fallen Israel Defense Forces soldier Shaul Greenglick, who was a former contestant on the Israeli talent contest “HaKochav Haba” (“The Next Star”). Rotem appeared on stage along with her husband, Yoav, to commemorate her brother and other soldiers who died in battle.

Yaron Shavit, deputy chairman of the executive at the Jewish Agency, told attendees at the Budapest event that “this is an exciting and meaningful demonstration that reflects the connection between Jews worldwide and Israel and our shared destiny as a people.”

The Jewish community in Hungary totals some 150,000, with most of them residing in Budapest. This warm, Zionist community enjoys close ties with Israel and the Jewish Agency’s Merkaz Israel in Budapest hosts a variety of community activities that aim to strengthen the relationship between local community members and Israel.

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The Jewish Agency for Israel has been working since 1929 to secure a vibrant Jewish future. It was instrumental in founding and building the State of Israel and continues to serve as the main link between the Jewish state and Jewish communities everywhere. This global partnership has enabled it to address the Jewish people’s greatest challenges in every generation. Today, the Jewish Agency connects the global Jewish family—bringing Jews to Israel and Israel to Jews—by providing meaningful Israel engagement and facilitating aliyah. It also strives to build a better society in Israel and beyond by energizing young Israelis and their worldwide peers to rediscover a collective sense of Jewish purpose. The Jewish Agency continues to be the Jewish world’s first responder, prepared to address emergencies in Israel and to rescue Jews from countries where they are at risk. See: www.jewishagency.org.
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