After a two-year hiatus, the annual Celebrate Israel Parade returned to the streets of Manhattan Sunday, drawing tens of thousands of people.

Israel National News spoke with organizers and marchers, who expressed satisfaction at being able to resume an annual tradition observed since the march was first held in 1965.

“It is an incredible feeling to be back on Fifth Avenue,” said UJA-Federation of New York CEO Eric Goldstein. “There has never been a more important time for the Jewish community in New York, in all of its diversity, to come together and show its proud support for the State of Israel.”

“We know this has been a tough time, with a lot of demonizing of Israel around the world, and we need to show that we’re proud and to support Israel and that there is no greater country that we should be supporting.”

One marcher called Israel a “light upon all the nations of the world,” and cited Israel’s COVID aid to countries “around the world” and aid to Ukraine. “Israel is a role model to all the world.”

New York Congressman and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Lee Zeldin said it was “exciting” to be a part of the first post-COVID march and praised the “turnout from all across the region”.

“The support for Israel and the US-Israel alliance has never been stronger for these attendees. This is our nation’s greatest ally, and they are under attack from all sides and under constant threat even to this day.”

“The support from New York and the United States has never been stronger.”