Hundreds of thousands attend New York’s Celebrate Israel Parade

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Some 40,000 marchers participated in the Celebrate Israel Parade up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York.

Hundreds of thousands of onlookers lined the parade route on late Sunday afternoon, many waving Israeli flags. The theme of this year’s parade was Only In Israel.

The annual event, a 55-year-old tradition which formerly was called the Salute to Israel parade, has been organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York   since 2011.

Businessman Edward A. Mermelstein, president of the ZAKA search and rescue organization, was the grand marshal of the parade.

Among the elected officials marching in the parade were New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. In addition, delegation of United Nations ambassadors and diplomats from around the world marched behind a common banner.

A musical number from the off-Broadway show “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish,” was scheduled to be performed live by cast members at the parade.