Israel Day On Fifth

By: Pamela Stern

On Sunday, June 2nd, the Israel Day On Fifth was a gathering in solidarity that took place on Fifth Avenue in New York City. This year the organizers called it a gathering in solidarity instead of calling it a “parade.”

The sun was shining and there was a flood of flags with a white background and two blue horizontal stripes one on the top and one on the bottom with the Star of David in the center representing Israel. Israel Day On Fifth kicked off at 11:30am at 57th Street and participants marched up Fifth Avenue and it ended at 4:00pm at 74th Street. The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) hosted Israel Day On Fifth with its largest funder, UJA-Federation of New York, where, according to updated data from the New York Police Department (NYPD), 100,000 Jewish New Yorkers and allies of all backgrounds that marched together to showcase their love and support for Israel, its people, and culture.

There were more than 200 participating groups, schools, synagogues, and other organizations from across the tri-state area and beyond as well as 26 floats that marched on Fifth Avenue; some were waving their flags along with the American flags. Governor Hochul kicked off the parade by chanting “Bring them home” which she was referring to the hostages that were taken on October 7th by Hamas.

Federal, state and local elected officials, including; Governor Kathy Hochul, NYS Attorney General Letitia James, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, NYS Senator Chuck Schumer, Congressman Daniel Goldman, Congressman Mike Lawler, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Congressman Tom Suozzi, Congressman Ritchie Torres, and NYC Mayor Eric Adams, attended the event to stand with the New York Jewish community. Israel Day On Fifth.

The theme for Israel Day On Fifth was “One People, One Heart.”  JCRC-NY CEO, Mark Treyger said, “This year’s Israel Day On Fifth was an extraordinary affirmation of our Jewish community’s connection to New York City and the State of Israel. Our coming together was a demonstration of unwavering support for Israel and her people and pride in our identity as Jews and Zionists. It was also a call for the immediate and safe return of the hostages – we must “Bring Them Home Now!”

The grand marshal for Israel Day On Fifth was Harley Lippman. The event organizers selected him for his substantial financial contributions to the event as well as for his advocacy and other efforts in support of Israel over the past year.

There was an outpouring of support for Israel and its people and culture marked the day, as New Yorkers stood in solidarity with the Israeli hostages and terror victims.

This event welcomed approximately 4,000 members comprised of hostage’s families, which sent a clear message to “Bring Them Home Now!” The abductees’ families and former hostages organized and led by the Hostage and Missing Families Forum as well as survivors of the Nova Music Festival. There are more than 120 hostages still held by Hamas since their abduction on October 7th, sending an urgent message to the world: “Bring Them Home Now!” They also came, in the face of rising Anti-Semitism, to show unity and pride in being Jewish and Zionist.

Dr. Cheryl Fishbein, Chair of the Board JCRC-NY said, “Look at the enthusiasm and look at the love in the streets today. We are here as one people showing solidarity for the people of Israel. We are fighting Anti-Semitism and we are all doing it together.”

Dr. Ben Golub, President of JCRC-NY said, “There are different types of Jews, but we all feel for each other. We have a sense of community and this violates our community by Hamas and this cruelty and viciousness to a Jew. To save one life is to save the universe. We will not be happy, we not be satisfied until every single hostage is free and brought back to their family and this atrocity comes to an end.”

JCRC-NY thanked Mayor Adams and the NYPD for their assistance and dedication, which enabled the New York Jewish community to come together on Fifth Avenue in support of Israel. JCRC-NY also thanked its partner, UJA-Federation of New York, for its collaboration in making Israel Day on Fifth a success.

Photos By; Amanda Moses

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Pamela Stern