On Sunday June 2, 2013 the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania marched in the annual Celebrate Israel parade in New York City. Though the region was under a heat wave, we got on our air conditioned charter bus, armed with the cold drinks the Federation had provided and headed to the parade. The march is so much fun and the opportunity to join thousands of Jews and gentiles in support of the Jewish homeland is so unforgettable that we knew we wouldn’t let the weather get the best of us.
This year a number of newcomers joined our group including Jean Blom, our featured speaker at the Federation’s Yom HaAtzmaut event. Jean and her son, Jacob (also at the parade), spent two weeks in Israel volunteering on an army base. Jean brought friends and family along too because she “can’t get enough of Israel”.
We were pleased at the growing number of young people, members of our local Bnai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO), who marched carrying our banners as well as the banner of the Scranton JCC.
And there were the many people, from school age to golden age, who have consistently marched with us since the Federation became a part of the parade.
After our making our way down Fifth Avenue, we boarded our bus and went to Teaneck, N.J. for what we call “the second best part of the day”. As we have been to this lovely Jewish community before on parade day, most everyone had their favorite kosher restaurant to enjoy- Chinese, fusion, steakhouse, deli, fast- food or dairy pizza and vegetarian cuisine.
Our wonderful day ended with great memories of time spent enjoying ourselves and supporting our true Jewish homeland.
Thank you to all our participants from Scranton and the Poconos. Thank you to Mr. Barth Rubin, owner of Budget Inn and Suites for the use of his establishment as our Pocono pick- up point. Thank you to Mr. Martin Weiss of the Poconos who brought along huge Israeli and American flags to add to our presentation. Thank you to Becky Schastey who created our photographic mosaic theme banner. And, of course, thank you to the Mark Silverberg and the Jewish Federation of NEPA which underwrote most of the cost of the event.