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, 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.