I must take exception to your publication’s ongoing characterizations about the composition of the marchers at this year’s Salute to Israel Day Parade: I am a proud Conservative Jew, a member of the board of trustees at Temple Israel of Great Neck, and a board member of SHAI (Sefaradic Heritage Alliance, Inc).
This year I had the privilege of marching with over 170 members of my synagogue, alongside well over 200 members of SHAI (a nondenominational group), alongside approximately 100 members of Gahelet (a secular school for Hebrew speakers).
That was my eyewitness experience of the parade and I cannot allow your readers to retain the false impressions left by your editorial (“Missing in Action,” May 28), and follow-up letters “Parade Observations” and “Sad Observation” (June 11) that we weren’t there.
I have been marching in the parade for over 20 years. And the hundreds from Great Neck who joyously joined me this year were not mere figments of my imagination. We were not “missing in action”. Sadly, we were not “observed” in your reporting at all.
The Jewish community has actual problems to bemoan, and this is not one of them. We Conservative and unaffiliated Jews were there at the parade, and God willing, we will be back in even greater numbers next year.
Editor’s Note: Our observation was about the crowd rather than the marchers themselves.