Lower Merion Yeshivot March Together at the Celebrate Israel Parade

The Lower Merion Jewish schools at Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC. Photo: N. Aaron Troodler

By N. Aaron Troodler

Carrying their large banners and waving Israeli flags with pride, three local Orthodox Jewish Day Schools from the Greater Philadelphia area marched together up Fifth Avenue in New York City on Sunday, June 3rd as part of the Celebrate Israel Parade.

For the first time ever, Caskey Torah Academy in Wynnewood, Kohelet Yeshiva in Merion Station and The Mesivta High School of Greater Philadelphia in Bala Cynwyd marched jointly under the banner of “The Yeshivot of Lower Merion, PA.” The three schools, which collectively educate over 600 students in the Greater Philadelphia area, traveled to Manhattan to take part in this exciting celebration marking 70 years since the founding of the modern State of Israel. Approximately 200 students, parents and grandparents from the three Lower Merion schools walked proudly, danced and sang Hebrew songs along the parade route.

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Israel Independence Day Parade and Festival

The Jewish community of Philadelphia celebrated the 65th anniversary of the State of Israel with a parade and festival on Sunday, May 19, 2013.

Marchers in the parade organized at 20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, near the Free Library of Philadelphia Main Branch. The parade began with a motorcycle color guard, followed by an ambulance from the American Friends of Magen David Adom. At that point, a handful of demonstrators holding a sign with anti-Israel slogan released black helium balloons to express their displeasure.

More after the jump.

Marching in the parade were:

  • Congregation Beth Or;
  • Volunteers For Israel;  
  • Kohelet Yeshiva High School;  
  • Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy;
  • Perelman Jewish Day School;
  • Lower Merion Synagogue;
  • Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia;
  • Israeli Scouts;
  • Temple Sinai;
  • Congregation Mikveh Israel;
  • Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley;  
  • Birthright Israel;
  • Tifereth Israel of Lower Bucks County;
  • Jewish Grad Network of Young Professionals;
  • the Avalon String Band;
  • Philadelphia Police and Fire Pipe and Drum Corps;
  • the Labor Zionist youth group Habonim Dror and Camp Galil;
  • Congregation Beth TIkvah B’nai Jeshurun;
  • Congregation Beth Zion-Beth Israel;
  • J Street;
  • Zionist Organization of America;
  • Gratz College and Jewish Community High School;
  • the Congregations of Shaare Shamayim;
  • Congregation Kol Ami of Elkins Park;
  • Congregation Or Shalom of Berwyn;
  • Congregation Adath Jeshurun and
  • Society Hill Synagogue.

The parade also featured an antique Volkswagen van advertising Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews; an SUV and trailer from the Philadelphia Union soccer team; and a truck and float from Phillyisrael.com.

The parade went down Race Street and stopped at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch streets, where the festival took place. The young people from Camp Galil asked the Police and Fire Pipe and Drum Corps to perform “Hava Nagila” on bagpipes, and they joined in a hora circle.

At the festival, agencies and organizations represented were:

  • Shalom Israel Tours,
  • Zionist Organization of America,
  • Nefesh B’Nefesh,
  • Philadelphia Jewish Voice,
  • Friends of the IDF,
  • Holocaust Awareness Museum,
  • Hebrew Free Loan Society,
  • Camp Galil,
  • Philadelphia Phillies and Union,
  • Volunteers for Israel,
  • National Museum of American Jewish History,
  • Kaiserman and Klein Jewish Community Centers,
  • Anti-Defamation League,
  • the Consulate General of Israel/Israeli Ministry of Tourism,
  • El Al Airlines,
  • Pinemere Camp,
  • Camp Harlam, Camp Ramah,
  • Jewish Relief Agency,
  • Einstein Healthcare Network,
  • Gratz College,
  • HIAS (formerly Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society-Philadelphia),
  • Jewish Family and Children’s Services,
  • Jewish Exponent,
  • Jewish Grad Network of Young Professionals,
  • Jewish Employment and Vocational Services,
  • J Street,
  • American Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,
  • Philadelphia Council of AMIT,
  • B’nai Zion Foundation,
  • Hazon,
  • Brith Shalom,
  • Hosts for Hospitals,
  • Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, and
  • Tikvah/AJMI (Advocates for the Jewish Mentally Ill).

Vendors displayed hand crafted jewelry and soap, ING Financial  Partners, and gifts from Jerusalem. There was sampling of Israeli wines, face painting for kids, demonstrations of the Israeli martial art Krav Maga, Israeli dancing, a caricaturist, the Avalon String Band performing, and palm reading at a Bedouin tent.    

Photos courtesy of the Jewish Exponent.

Sign Up for the Philadelphia Jewish Voice and win up to $9,000 in prizes!

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice will be giving away a fabulous commitment ceremony/wedding package and other prizes this month. For a chance to win, simply join our free mailing list or update your registration. You can register online at http://www.pjvoice.com/subscri… or sign up in person at the Philadelphia Jewish Voice’s table at the Philadelphia Pride Parade this Sunday, June 12 from 1:30 to 6:00 pm on Penn’s Landing.

The grand prize is transferable, so even if you are not personally planning on tying the knot, this prize is a terrific present to celebrate the union of your friends.

Prizes:
Grand Prize: Commitment Ceremony Package ($9,000+ value) including:
Commitment ritual conducted by Philadelphia Jewish Voice Living Judaism editor Rabbi Goldie Milgram. Creating beautiful, meaningful, spiritually authentic rites of passage, including Commitment Ceremonies has long been an important part of Rabbi Goldie Milgram’s life as a clergy person and we are fortunate to be able to share her experience with you.

More after the jump.
Preparation sessions Six free hour-long planning sessions with Rabbi Milgram, in person or phone/Skype/webcam depending on availability.Together with the commitment couple, Rabbi Milgram will facilitate creation of a custom-designed ritual, vows and contract of spiritual commitment to complement your legal documents. These sessions will include spiritual support for your relationship which can be an open non-religion-specific spirituality or Jewish. Rabbi Milgram views ritual as a powerful and precious spiritual art form and welcome conference call involvement of wedding planners, musicians, garment, food and invitation designers, etc.
Wedding Cake designed and donated by Ciao Bella Cakes.
$1,000 in Flowers provided by Vandergrift Floral.
Dress or Accessories $150 gift certificate to Paris Chic Bridal Boutique.
Honeymoon One night stay at The Lippincott House Bed & Breakfast.
Cocktails for rehearsal party (up to 10 people) by Foodwerx.
Hair, Make-up and/or Hot Lather Shave (on-site) courtesy of Jacen Bowman.
Pillows engineered for your body weight and size by Pittman Pillows.
Photography with images on DVD by Kim Volcy Photography.
And More…. Additional details will be announced on the Philadelphia Jewish Voice as they become available.
Second Prize: Free Yoga lesson from Philadelphia Jewish Voice Art & Culture editor Lisa Grunberger.
Consolation Prizes: All subscribers who enter their complete address will be mailing an “I read the Philadelphia Jewish Voice” bumper sticker, so that you can show your support of the Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

Rules:
Deadline: June 30, 2011
Eligibility: Limit one entry per person. Multiple entries will disqualify you. No purchase required. Staff and board members of the Philadelphia Jewish Voice and the Deal Monitor and their immediate families are not eligible.
Commitment Ceremony:
The couple must obtain their own attorney and execute any relevant legal documents to secure the flow of your estate and health-care rights under the jurisdiction where they reside. If their marriage is legal where this ritual will take place, then they will need to register accordingly prior to this ritual.
If the couple is Jewish, then Rabbi Goldie Milgram must approve or provide the Hebrew language that will appear in your ketubah (marriage contract). The couple must pay and secure their own artist to illustrate their ketubah.
The couple is responsible for the cost of Rabbi Milgram’s lodging, meals and transport for the weekend of your ritual from wherever she happens to be in the world at that time to wherever her next assignment happens to be.
Rabbi Milgram does not co-officiate with other clergy.

Rabbi Goldie Milgram

Secularly, Dr. Goldie Milgram has long been a gender-rights activist. She also travels internationally as a teacher of spiritual health and non-profit leadership. She received the American Cancer Society Most Distinguished Couple Award for her work in publication education during a previous marriage where she anchored and invented the first public health talk television for NBC TV 40. She has offered programs under the auspices of the United Nations, Esalen, Rancho La Puerta, the New York Open Center, 92Y, universities and communities world-wide.  Wearing her Jewish hat, “Reb Goldie” as her students affectionately call her, holds a doctorate from New York Theological Seminary and is a twice ordained rabbi – a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and she also holds the private smichah (ordination) of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of Jewish Renewal. Dr. Milgram directs, ReclaimingJudaism.org and is author of numerous works including the first fully gender-inclusive work on Jewish ritual: Living Jewish Life Cycle: How to Create Meaningful Jewish Rites of Passage at Every Stage of Life (Jewish Lights Publishing).
Rabbi Goldie Milgram can be contacted at [email protected]

Good luck!