Monday, March 27, 2023

(Courtesy of BC Unite for Israel Parade) On Sunday, June 6, the local community will join together for the Bergen County Unite for Israel Parade to express unwavering support for the state of Israel, as well as unify to stand against the rise of antisemitism around the world today.

The parade was created by a grassroots group of Teaneck residents, and is being sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, North Jersey Board of Rabbis and the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County, as well as more than a dozen local Jewish elementary and high schools.

Karen Orgen, one of the organizers, said that “the parade was created in response to what’s happening in Israel and around the world. Many people are feeling helpless, and we want to channel their energy into something positive. A group of us came together to kick it off, and the Jewish Federation was eager to support it.”

Allie Orgen, a recent Frisch graduate, envisioned the parade from her seminary dorm in Israel. “We didn’t want to create a counterprotest. Instead, we’re holding a celebration that demonstrates that we’re proud to be Jews and proud to support Israel. It’s so important to stand proudly and say that.”

In addition to the work of the organizers (Miriam Berger, Kate Davis, Deena Elias, Golan Elias, Yehuda Kohn, Allie Orgen, Karen Orgen and Nomi Schwartz), 150 local yeshiva high school students are also volunteering to assist with design, promotion and recruitment. “This is truly a grassroots community effort,” explained Allie, who is engaging the Israel advocacy clubs from local schools.

The organizers expect 5,000 people to attend. Golan Elias said, “We look forward to a peaceful, celebratory display of support for Israel and unity against antisemitism. We’re also bringing hundreds of American flags to the parade as a demonstration of our commitment to the strong relationship between America and Israel.”

The parade will begin at Phelps Park across from Fairleigh Dickinson University and travel through Teaneck to culminate with a festive Benny Friedman concert at Sagamore Park. The community is invited to gather at 4:00 p.m., wear blue and white, and bring flags and signs. The march will begin at 4:30 p.m.

To sponsor elements of the parade including flags, signs and the grand finale concert, visit www.jfnnj.org/donate  and write “parade” in the memo. For more information, email [email protected] or follow @uniteforisrael2021 on Instagram.

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