April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The Annual March Up Fifth Avenue

As Jews, we have an innate love of Israel. We relish the opportunity to visit the Holy Land and we regularly monitor the happenings in the Jewish State. Our community’s schools work diligently to instill in our children a love and appreciation of Israel. The State of Israel is unquestionably an integral part of our lives as Jews.

In what has become an annual communitywide event, many of us will travel to Manhattan on Sunday, June 2 for the 2013 Celebrate Israel Parade. This extraordinary event gives us a unique opportunity to openly express our support of Israel and to unabashedly stand in unison with our Israeli brethren. Approximately 30,000 marchers, including countless schools, shuls, youth groups, and community organizations will make the long trek up Fifth Avenue from 57th Street to 74th Street with flags waving, music playing, voices singing, and their heads held high.

To both participants and observers, the parade is an extraordinary sight. It is a veritable sea of blue and white, as hundreds of thousands of people converge on New York City to either participate in the parade, or to simply to watch the festivities. In addition to the wonderful feeling we get each year when we experience the warmth and celebratory atmosphere that the Celebrate Israel Parade engenders, there is another aspect to the event.

We need to remember that the world is watching us. In what has become the largest annual mass gathering of Jews in solidarity with Israel, the parade may very well be one of the barometers by which the decision makers in Washington and local elected officials gauge the level of support of the American Jewish community for Israel.

The more people there are marching, the better we are. The more people there are lining the parade route and cheering loudly, the better we are. It is essential that we show the world that Israel is important to us. Our mere presence at the parade sends a powerful message to the United States that American Jewry is in lockstep with Israel and that our support for the Jewish State is strong and steadfast.

Those of us who attend the parade each and every year are used to seeing a number of prominent dignitaries participating in the festivities. Several well-known New York elected officials such as Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Charles Schumer, and Mayor Mike Bloomberg have become mainstays of the Celebrate Israel Parade.

As these elected leaders walk up Fifth Avenue waving Israeli flags and showing their support for Israel, our community would be best served if we thanked them for their presence, their participation, and their patronage. Cheer for them as they walk by. It does not matter with which political party they are affiliated or whether their particular political ideologies are in concert with yours. We need to applaud them because they, like us, go to the parade to support Israel. They deserve our gratitude and appreciation.

So, this year, let us double our efforts. With instability in Egypt, strife in Syria, terrorist groups mobilizing in Gaza, and the threat of a nuclear Iran looming large, we must have a real show of strength at this year’s Celebrate Israel Parade.

American Jewry may not be on the front lines of Israel’s constant struggle to fend off existential threats and protect its people, but we have to do our part when given the chance to do so. By going to the Celebrate Israel Parade and standing in solidarity with the State of Israel, we can send a clear message to our elected officials, lawmakers in Washington, the Israeli government and citizens, and the world, that American Jewish support for Israel is solid and unwavering.

And as we line the parade route cheering for our children and other people we know who are marching, let us not forget that we ought to be cheering for the elected officials as well. Tell them thank you for standing together with Israel.

N. Aaron Troodler is an attorney and a principal of Paul Revere Public Relations, a public relations and political consulting firm. Visit him on the Web at www.PaulReverePR.com or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/troodler

By N. Aaron Troodler, Esq.

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