Salute to Israel Parade, Now Mainstream Popular

Batya Medad ,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Batya Medad
New York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. ...

Salute to Israel Parade, Now Mainstream Popular

I marched in the very first Salute to Israel Parade, which is what I still call it. It took place in either 1964 or 1965. At that time I was active in NCSY, the Great Neck Synagogue chapter. So a handful of us took the LIRR into the city and went to wherever we had been told. I just followed the others, since at that point I wasn't very knowledgable about "the city." If I remember correctly, I was the youngest and the only girl in the group, so the guys made a point of taking care of me.

The parade was small, no floats that I can remember, nor did we have matching T-shirts. And I don't have any pictures, either. It wasn't very common to be a "Jewish activist" in those days and definitely not mainstream for American Jews. And it was before the 1967 Six Days War. There was an enormous difference between Israel's popularity pre and post the war.

Prior to the 1967 war, there was more yeridah than aliyah. In simple English, more Israelis left Israel than moved there. Actually, it still may be true. But today, actually since the late 1960's aliyah-moving to Israel has become much more common. By the late-1970's many or most American Jews know someone or the family of someone who had moved to Israel. When my husband and I got off the boat in Israel, the only people my parents knew with a child in Israel were my in-laws. But just a couple of years later, they were the people everyone called for advice on how to cope and what to send.

From 1967-1970, I danced in the Parade with NCSY.

This picture of me and my friend Debbie Klaff Dan dancing at the 1969* parade was used by the organizers for the advertisement the following year.

I'm glad to see my AFSI friend Helen Freedman celebrating, too.
screen shot Arutz 7

The reports of this year's parade sound great.

New Yorkers gather by the thousands in an outpouring of love for the Jewish state.

I'm sure there were more than just New Yorkers marching and cheering!

It's nice to know that now being an American living in Israel is no longer considered rare and odd. Join us!

*I keep thinking of it as in 1968, but since the float says 21st Anniversary, that would make it 1969.