WASHINGTON – New York and Washington are dancing the ‘Hora.’ Thousands of people celebrated Israel’s 60 years of independence on Capitol Hill and Fifth Avenue on Sunday. Many participants showed their solidartiy by carrying the Israeli flag.
The celebrators enjoyed live Israeli music, Hora dancing and Israeli cuisine. Other attractions aimed at making the crowd feel as if they were in the Holy Land was an archeological mockup and a whiff of the Dead Sea experience.
The main concert was given by the Israeli Mashina group which sent the crowd dancing in the sunlit plaza.
The participants, some of which were Americans, walked around the various booths featuring Israeli culture, science and other achievements attained by the country in its 60 years of existence.
The event took place near the National Air and Space Museum, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Sallai Meridor took the opportunity to remind the partakers of the first Israeli Astronaut, the late Ilan Ramon, who perished in the Columbia space shuttle disaster.
Mashina performing on Capitol Hill (Photo: Shmulik Almani)
While the Jewish Federation and Israeli Embassy were leading the Washington celebrations, thousands marched the streets of New York City in the annual Salute to Israel Parade, which also marked Israel’s 60th anniversary.
Among the marchers crossing Fifth Avenue were Vice Premier Haim Ramon, Minister Ruhama Avraham and deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Lt. Gov. David A. Paterson and New Jersey Governor John Corzine arrived at the parade to show their support for the Jewish State.
Giant banners featuring photographed Israelis were placed along the parade route to demonstrate Israel’s diversity.