Despite a determined and consistent downpour, New Yorkers still marched up 5th Avenue this past Sunday in the Celebrate Israel Parade. An estimated 30,000 people participated this year, featuring a number of Jewish students from the tri-state NY area and slew of marching bands.
When I arrived near the Apple store on 59th Street about an hour after the parade had started, only a couple of dozen people huddled under apartment scaffolding to watch the sodden march slog on. At the peak of the storm, a large, pre-pubescent teen in an I <3 Israel shirt repeatedly told his mom how depressing and sad the parade was. His mother's unblinking stare silently agreed with him.
Across from the Plaza Hotel, a small group of protestors from Neturei Karta—a small group that opposes Zionism and calls for the dismantling of the State of Israel—protested the march.
Memorable moments from the day included a Theodor Herzl mascot, Israelis struggling to throw swag and tchotchkes into the crowd during the rain, two speechless police officers watching a young woman shriek the lyrics of various Israeli songs, an old teacher scolding students about their modesty as their shirts got wet, and an older woman flipping the bird to a police officer who told her to get out of the vehicle lane. See more photos from the parade below.