2017-06-07 / Front Page

Queens BP, Local Elected Officials Join Cuomo & DeBlasio At Israel Parade

By Dan Miller & Joyce Vetere Milowski

Councilman Paul Vallone, Barry Grodenchik, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and BP Melinda Katz (far right).

Councilman Paul Vallone, Barry Grodenchik, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and BP Melinda Katz (far right). Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio joined US Senator Charles Schumer, members of the State Legislature and the New York City Council forty thousands marchers and parade viewers to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Israel’s statehood.

In 1948 The United Nations, then meeting at Flushing Meadows Park,(In what is now the Queens Museum of Art) voted on Israel’s statehood. Since that time the State of Israel has struggled with its Middle Eastern neighbors to maintain the security of its citizens against terrorists as well as numerous attacks and wars to destroy the one and only Jewish State in the world.

The son of former Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (2001-2006) marched with Governor Councilmembers Paul Vallone, Karen Koslowitz and NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito with at the Celebrate Israel Parade.
Councilmembers Paul Vallone, Karen Koslowitz and NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito with at the Celebrate Israel Parade. Cuomo as forty thousand marchers showed their love for the State of Israel wearing the traditional blue and white, the colors of the Jewish state.  Governor Cuomo recently proclaimed the first Sunday in June as “Shimon Peres Day,” in  memory of the late Israeli President and Prime Minister, who also served in twelve Israeli cabinets in a career that spanned more than seventy years. Perez won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for their efforts in forging a peace treaty in the Middle East. Shimon Peres once said “Peace is costly. Only thing is war costs more.” Shimon Peres died of a massive heart attack in December 2014 at the age of 93. The governor also invited Israeli celebrity kosher chef, Jamie Geller, a Grand Marshall and a delegation of members of the Knesset, Israel’s counterpart to the United States Congress.

Cantor Moti Fuchs with congregants of Hillcrest JC.

Cantor Moti Fuchs with congregants of Hillcrest JC. More than a hundred different Jewish organizations, mostly students and teachers religious schools from both the five boroughs, neighboring Long Island and Westchester and extending beyond the metropolitan area to communities in the Tri-State area, with many marchers from Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The marchers came from near (Upper Eastside of Manhattan) and far, Florida and California.

Thousands of the marchers chanted, “We stand with Israel, We stand with Israel,’ as they passed protestors on 5th Avenue near 59th Street.

Some of the minions of religious institutions marching in the parade included,

• Yeshiva of Flatbush

• Flatbush Park JC Mill Basin led by Linda Podulski

• Forest Hills Jewish Center

• Yeshiva of Central  Queens

• Hillcrest Jewish Center, Queens led by cantor Moti Fuchs

• Ner Talmud Society, Long Island

• North Shore JC, Port Jefferson

• Yeshiva University

• Touro College

• Brooklyn College

• Downstate Medical Center, SUNY

• The Hebrew Institute of White Plains

• American Veterans of Israel

• The Moriah School Yocheved Orbach CAmpus

• Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council

• Friends of Israel Defense Forces FIDF

• Hebrew Tabernacle Congegation

• Hebrew Academy of Long Beach NY

• Stella K. Abraham High School For Girls

• Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva HS For Boys

Governor Andrew Cuomo waves at the tens of thousands of spectators along the parade route of the Celebrate Israel Parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan​.Governor Andrew Cuomo waves at the tens of thousands of spectators along the parade route of the Celebrate Israel Parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan​.The NYPD Rabbi, Alvin Kass leading a troop of Jewish police officers and FDNY rabbi Joseph Potasnik were among more than two hundred religious leaders guiding their congregations and religious school’s students and their parents along the parade route that began on Fifth Avenue and E 57th Street and ended at E74th Street and 5th Avenue.

New York City Councilman Paul Vallone, (Queens) spoke about the importance of keeping a safe Israel. While not Jewish, he comes from a long line of judges who of course get their name from the Book of Judges and is one of the most revered professions in the United States and in Israel. Council member Vallone said, “I spoke to my dad this morning and he reminded me that he marched in the Salute to Israel Parade for many years. At Least there is one more Vallone marching in today’s parade.” 

Councilman Vallone was referring to his father, former New York City Speaker of the New Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Mayor Bill DeBlasio. York City Council, Peter Vallone. Councilman Paul Vallone is also following in his family tradition of serving the community where he lives and in public service as his older brother Peter F. Vallone Jr. did who now serves as Justice in the County of Queens. and continuing the tradition begun by his grandfather, former Judge Charles J. Vallone, who has a school named in his memory in Astoria, Queens.  “This parade brings the spirit and the pride of the whole Jewish community for the world to see,” said CM Vallone.

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito had this to say to the Jewish Voice, “This is a very special day in New York City-Every parde has its significance. Obviously this once has one as well. I am here with so many of my colleagues in the New York City Council. We have forged many relationships that New York City has with Israel.”

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