35,000 March in Celebrate Israel Parade in New York

The traditional Salute to Israel Parade, now rebranded as Celebrate Israel, took place on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on Sunday− in sweltering heat, under heightened security and with the obvious preponderance of Orthodox Jews among marchers and onlookers.

Over 35,000 marchers danced and sang their way up Fifth Avenue, from 57th to 79th Street, under the watchful eye of hundreds of New York’s finest, in uniform and undercover. New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters that security had been tightened significantly and SWAT teams put on alert, in light of the Boston Marathon bombings in March.

“We’ve upped our game,” he said.

As the parade appeared to pass without any serious incident, an obviously relieved Michael Miller, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council that organized the parade, said that it “reflects the spirit, the unity and the diversity of the Jewish community.”

Nonetheless, if the parade had been held in Israel, it would have been taken automatically as a pro-settler march or as a demonstration organized by the religious Zionist Habayit Hayehudi party.

The clear majority of the marchers belonged to Orthodox schools and yeshivas, sported kippot for males and modest dress for females, and separated boys from girls.

For more go to Haaretz

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35,000 March in Celebrate Israel Parade in New York

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