On June 3, Grand Marshals Dina and Jonathan Leader and Honorary Grand Marshals, including actor, childhood icon and Birthright Israel alum Jonathan Lipnicki, TV personality Siggy Flicker, world-renowned and autodidact Chef Eyal Shani, singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer, and host of the Unorthodox Podcast, Liel Leibovitz, and several other local and international officials joined 40,000 marchers from more than 250 organizations, thousands of spectators, 15 world-class marching bands and more than 30 floats at the 2018 Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, from 57th Street to 74th Street.
Special guests included Governor Andrew Cuomo; Mayor Bill de Blasio; New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli; New York City Public Advocate Letitia James; City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Members of the City Council; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark; U.S. Representatives, Carolyn Maloney and Dan Donovan; Senators Joseph Addabbo, Phil Boyle, Leroy Comrie, Brad Hoylman, and Liz Krueger; Assembly Members Ed Braunstein, Steven Cymbrowitz, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Anthony D’Urso, Walter Mosley, Helene Weinstein, and David Weprin; Consul General of Israel in New York Amb. Dani Dayan; Minister of Culture and Sport of Israel Miri Regev (Likud); Minister of Science, Technology, and Space of Israel Ofir Akunis (Likuh); Israeli Knesset Members Shuli Mualem (Bait Yehudi), MK Oded Furer (Israel Beitenu), MK Yoel Hasson (Zion Camp), and MK Nurit Koren (Likud); Director General of the Ministry of Culture of Israel Yossi Sharabi; Adviser to the Director General of Knesset Vadim Braverman; and Knesset Staff Member Yuval Raz.
The 2018 Celebrate Israel Parade, the world’s largest public gathering in celebration of Israel, celebrated its 54th anniversary with a host of new musical acts, children-friendly entertainment, and musical talent including Ninet Tayeb, Omri Anghel, Kosha Dillz, Yarden Klayman, Six13, SOULFARM, and Milk & Honeys.
This year’s creative theme for marching groups and floats was “70 and Sababa (70 & Awesome)!” in honor of the 70th Anniversary of Israel.
Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York said, “Today we celebrate 70 years of Israel’s independence, our essential friendship with the United States, and the very basis of being Jewish. Every community in New York has their day to express their identity, and it is no coincidence that the Jewish community makes today about Israel, even over lox and bagels. I thank the Jewish community of New York for their enduring commitment to Israel; I am honored and humbled by the depth of their support.”