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Israel Day on Fifth Parade: Route, Road Closures, Security

The Israel Day on Fifth Parade is set to take place this Sunday with increased security measures and a focus on solidarity amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The parade takes place nearly 8 months after the unprecedented Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, which was the deadliest in Israel’s history.

The parade, now called “Israel Day on Fifth” because of the route along Fifth Avenue from 57th Street to 74th Street in Manhattan, will instead focus on solidarity, strength and resilience, said Mark Treyger, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

“This is not a mood of confetti and music,” Treyger said. “This is more of a mood of unwavering, ironclad solidarity with hostages to bring them home, and also our unwavering love and pride in our Jewish identity.”

The parade, which is in its 59th year, kicks off at about 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.  

This year’s route will be along Fifth Avenue from 57th Street to 74th Street in Manhattan. 

Organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, the parade is expected to attract over 40,000 participants, including Israeli and U.S. politicians, dignitaries, celebrities, and families of hostages. The event will showcase floats from various Israeli, Israeli-American, and Jewish schools and community organizations.

Marching in the parade this year will be Liora Rez, a refugee who fled Soviet persecution of the Jewish people to the United States, who has founded a national advocacy nonprofit, StopAntisemitism

Members of StopAntisemitism will be marching in this year’s parade alongside a massive billboard displaying the faces and names of hostages who remain in captivity.

There was never a thought of cancelling the parade this year, Treyger said, despite what he termed an astronomical rise in antisemitism.

“This is a moment that we have to meet,” he said.

But there will be significant security.

New York Police Department officials said Friday they plan to implement measures typically used for high-profile events such as New Year’s Eve and July 4. That includes drones, K-9 units, bike patrols, fencing and barriers and designated entry points for spectators all along the parade route.

Backpacks, large bags and coolers will be prohibited. Spectators will have to pass through metal detectors and only be allowed to line the east side of Fifth Avenue, with police blocking off the west side.

City officials stressed Friday there were no specific or credible threats to either the parade or the city and any protestors have the right to demonstrate so long as its done peacefully.

“We’re not going to allow any unlawfulness and any disruption of any celebration of one’s heritage in this city,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said at a security briefing. The parade represents the first large-scale Jewish event in the city since the war started, although there have been roughly 2,800 protests in the city, with about 1,300 of them related to the conflict, the Democrat said.