Israel Day On Fifth Parade Draws Over 100,000 With Max Security Prep

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Every person has the fundamental right, to celebrate their culture, their religion, and their identity. For nearly six decades, the Israel Day Parade has provided Jewish New Yorkers and people of all backgrounds a creative space to showcase their support for Israel.

This year's parade came at an urgent moment for not just Israel, but the entire world, making the event’s theme of “One People, One Heart” paramount and the chants of “Bring the Hostages Home, Bring Them Home,” also a sub theme, ever so crucial. The parade while subdued in grandiose antics was a consistent reminder to participants, spectators, and viewers worldwide of the more than 120 hostages still held captive to this day following Hamas's brutal attack on October 7th, and moreover a commitment that we will not rest until they are home safe. We owe the offices of the mayor of New York City, governor of New York State, and NYPD, led by Commissioner Edward Caban, and Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey a tremendous debt of gratitude for protecting the parade and the invaluable right of free expression, not only this past Sunday, but every single day.

Since October 7th, New York City has seen almost 2,800 protests across our city, almost 1,300, most high profile and high stakes, were related to the war in the against Hamas terrorists in the Middle East. Through all, the NYPD has kept us safe, and did so again this past Sunday for the first of number of consecutive ethnic parades.

Mayor Eric Adams stood at the helm of the all-time high preparedness joined Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) CEO Mark Treyger, UJA Federation Community Securities Director Mitch Silber, Deputy Mayor for Communications Fabien Levy, Deputy Mayor Phil Banks, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Rebecca Weiner, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism Kaz Daughtry, Deputy Commissioner of Operations Michael Gerber, Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner of the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit Fred Kreizman, and his Senior Advisor Joel Eisdorfer. The unified force ensured zero unlawfulness nor disruptions hampered the celebration Jewish heritage in Manhattan.

From the obvious uniformed officers posted around the parade route, the same was true for the surrounding area, including entry screening checkpoints, bike teams, aviation including the use of ARGUS cameras and drones to forewarn of potential incoming disruptive groups, K-9, transit, and other specialized units, including Counterterrorism and Intelligence Bureau personnel all deployed without a solitary credible threat to the parade or New York City overall.

The parade successfully allowed for the celebration of the cultural diversity that makes our city standout. The various agencies protected our freedom of expression to display our Jewish heritage more openly than most are regularly comfortable on city streets.

The parade route running 18 blocks from 56th Street up to 74th Street was fortified, including fencing for increased security, and had entrances for spectators via five points on Madison Avenue: 61st Street, 63rd Street, 66th Street, 70th Street, and 73rd Street. Each were staffed with school safety personnel who used magnetometers to wand guests, and JCRC credentials allowed marchers to participate.

As our readers are aware, former NYC Council Member Mark Treyger now runs the JCRC bringing his experience in the classroom and as a DOE staff member to his role. However, this parade was foremost in all Treyger’s life due to his grandmothers who bother survived the Nazi atrocities, while both his grandfathers were servicemen fighting Hitler’s men. Mainly due to religious persecution, his parents fled the former Soviet Union exhibiting tremendous resilience and strength culminating in his Jewish identity being primary since birth and moreover affirmed by his leadership of the largest showing of Jewish pride outside of Israel. Brooklyn-born, Treyger is proud to call himself a first-generation American, and a New Yorker at heart.

Ultimately, a record-breaking 100,000 marched showing their love for the people, history, and culture of Israel. They were led by elected officials in various groups who opted not to have any fanfare or music in their contingents. Instead, over 4000 members of the Hostages and Missing Families Forum demanded the safe return of the hostages drawing renewed attention to the more than 120 hostages still held by Hamas since their abduction on October 7. Rising antisemitism was on the forefront of minds, and the historic crowd was our show of unity and pride in being Jewish and Zionist. By far, especially in these challenging times, this year’s march was the most important ever conducted, and the outpouring of support from New Yorkers was on par.

Members of the abductees’ families and former hostages, survivors of the Nova Music Festival, and residents of several southern Israeli communities that paid a heavy price on 10/7 including Kfar Aza, Be’eri and Nahal Oz, among others were the stars of the day compounded by 26 floats manned by more than 200 participating tri-state schools, shuls, and organizations.

Federal, state, and local elected officials included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Governor Kathy Hochul, NYS Attorney General Letitia James, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Congress Members Daniel Goldman, Mike Lawler, Grace Meng, Tom Suozzi, Ritchie Torres, and Mayor Eric Adams all stood with the New York Jewish community. Grand Marshall Harley Lippman was joined by Jewish entertainers Julia Haart of the Netflix’s My Unorthodox Life, and Eden Golan of Eurovision fame, alongside Jewish lifestyle influencers Lizzy Savetsky, and Queens’ very own Victoria Zirkiev, President of Chazaq’s Women’s Division. Golan was very moved by the opportunity to open the parade alongside Mayor Adams, “This is another landmark that we are showing the world Israel's power now more than ever.”