Why the Celebrate Israel Parade matters


“Behold, how good it is for siblings to dwell together in unity.” — Psalm 133

(New York Jewish Week) — As rabbis we cover a broad swath of the American Jewish community. From Reform to Conservative to Orthodox, our denominations differ and our congregations may appear worlds apart, but we are all Jews and we remain united in our support of Israel. Parades, with all of the spectacle and ceremony they evoke, are an opportunity for us to show that we joyously stand together as cross-denominational rabbis, as American Jews, and as New Yorkers. 

The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York’s Celebrate Israel Parade has taken place in New York City since 1965. For 2022 the parade theme is “Together Again,” something we are truly grateful for. We encourage you to join us; to march, to witness the hope and connection that defines our commitment to the State of Israel. Together we will form a spectacular mosaic, inclusive of different religious movements, political persuasions, ages, genders, ethnicities, and faith communities.

Spiritually, emotionally, physically — the past few years have been hard on all of us. We’ve been unable to hug our loved ones, travel for seders, or see smiling faces line Fifth Avenue as we march uptown with pride. Just as we all started to settle back into a sense of normalcy, antisemitic violence began to break out here and a new wave of terror began in Israel. We are left with a sense of fear and unease. It’s exactly this backdrop that makes it more important than ever before for us to come together as one Jewish community, proud and unafraid, for the first in-person Celebrate Israel Parade since 2019.

Events like this bridge the divide between us, whether political, religious, or cultural. It’s a chance for us to gather as Jews and walk arm in arm, showing the world that our community stands together as one — united in our present, our future, and our past. 

Rabbi Rachel Ain, Sutton Place Synagogue
Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, Central Synagogue
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, Park Avenue Synagogue
Rabbi Steven Exler, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – The Bayit 
Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun

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