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New York’s Virtual Celebrate Israel Parade Postponed
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New York’s Virtual Celebrate Israel Parade Postponed

Organizers opt for a conversation on racism in wake of protests surrounding the death of George Floyd.

People participate in the annual Celebrate Israel Parade on June 2, 2019 in New York City. (Getty Images)
People participate in the annual Celebrate Israel Parade on June 2, 2019 in New York City. (Getty Images)

The virtual Celebrate Israel parade scheduled for Sunday has been postponed, and organizers will instead hold an online conversation with African-American community leaders on racism in America.

The virtual parade will be put off until June 21 “out of respect for the current situation after the grievous killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests around our city and nation,” said its organizer, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, in a statement. A video of a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck before his death in custody set off what has been more than a week of protests around the country by people demanding racial justice.

The parade, which in a typical year draws tens of thousands of marchers and throngs of onlookers along Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side, had been moved online in April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The virtual conversation on racism will take place Sunday at 1:00 pm. Speakers haven’t been announced.

In a statement announcing the postponement and new date, JCRC officials said, “We stand in partnership with our sisters and brothers in the Black community, and in all communities of color, as we collectively strive to stamp out racism and prejudice in all of its forms from our society.”

This year’s virtual parade will be dedicated to the frontline health workers battling Covid-19, and it will benefit Covid-19 relief.

The Celebrate Israel parade, one of the largest pro-Israel gatherings anywhere, was first held in 1965 on Riverside Drive on the Upper West Side. In recent years, the parade has marched up Fifth Avenue. Approximately 40,000 people march in the parade each year, according to the organizers, including thousands of Jewish day school students.

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