It had been two years since the parade had marched up Fifth Avenue. So this year, on Sunday, May 22, an estimated 40,000 people turned up to either walk or watch Celebrate Israel’s Together Again – Kulanu B’Yachad parade.
It’s always a slightly surreal experience to walk up Fifth Avenue — traffic on the avenue flows south, but the march goes north. And marchers take over the street, striding and strolling where trucks and cabs usually go.
And there are so many Jews! So very many Jews.
It was very hot on Sunday. The week before had been all gold-and-green and breezy and lovely, and the days after became overcast and chilly, but the day of the parade was absurdly hot, so hot that people’s shoes (well, okay, my shoes) momentarily stuck to the patches of tar on the street. Most marchers wore brightly colored shirts, and many waved flags. Quite a few danced their way up the avenue.
As there is every year, there were many dozens of school groups from all over the metropolitan area; from New Jersey and Brooklyn and Queens and the Island and Staten Island as well as from more exotic places. North Jersey was particularly well represented. There also were delegations from local shuls, JCCs, Hillels, federations, and other organizations. There were floats, there was music, there were reviewing stands. There was everything a parade could need. There even were protestors — Neturei Karta, all men, sweaty in their black hats and coats, screaming what most likely were curses, but who could hear them? And they were standing next to the Palestinian protestors, in common cause with them, although the Palestinians wore bright colors and included women. They also screamed at us. But whatever….
On Monday, we asked local day schools and yeshivot to send us some photos from the march. Most of the schools were represented at the march, and most of those sent us photos. Here’s a selection of some (but by no means all!) of them.