Tuesday, January 25th | 23 Shevat 5782

June 6, 2011 12:31 am

Celebrate Israel From Generation To Generation

avatar by Ronn Torossian

Jewish Agency for Israel Jewish youth dance their way up Fifth Ave. in New York during the annual Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, May, 05, 2011. Photo: David Karp.

I have just returned from the Israel Day Parade with my children – It’s a special tradition for me, one I remember participating in all my life.  I remember as a youngster when I marched, and my mother told me how she marched with Betar in the first Salute to Israel Parade ever held in 1964 – she told me how she remembered her father standing in the rain on the corner of 79th Street waving at her.

As I am growing older and more sentimental, watching the parade this year brought me close to tears – My eldest daughter woke me up early this morning excited be on board the RAJE float, I watched holocaust survivors singing Am Israel Chai, and secular and religious Jews standing side by side. The next generation of young Jews were enthusiatic in carrying on the traditions of the Jewish people and love for the Jewish State. It’s really a beautiful display.

For the first time ever the parade was broadcast on live television, and at least for one day it’s a Public Relations bonanza for Israel, a beautiful expression of solidarity for the 63rd anniversary of the State. It’s a tradition I am proud to pass on to my children, and I am elated to hear my daughter tell me that she can’t wait to visit Israel this summer, inspired by the parade. I am heartened by how excited she was to hear my recollections from marching in the parade with my friends throughout the years.

It’s an important tradition, one that signifies that our commitment to Israel and the Jewish people passes from generation to generation.  As I marched today with my family, I thought of my mother marching in 1964, and her father, a Holocaust survivor, waving at her.

Am Israel Chai – The Jewish people live.

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