Cap 1: Enjoying the parade, from top clockwise, David Behrman, Vicki Weber, Lana Dishler, Michele Herman, Steve Ostrove and Bernie Dishler.



Cap 2: Karen and Steve Ostrove on the Journey to Israel trip.

What is 5½ miles from head to tail, 50 years old, and winds through the streets of Manhattan?

The Celebrate Israel parade, of course.

The parade celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, and the 66th anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day, with more than 200 different groups and 40,000 marchers. (Don’t ask about the security.)

It started at 11am on June 1 at 57th Street, and progressed up Fifth Avenue to 74th Street. The last float finished at 4pm.

And on the last float was Karen Ostrove, who joined us on the ISRAEL21c Journey to Israel trip last October. Karen was there because her day job is organizing the parade. It’s an all-year thing: deciding which groups march, what order they’re in, what their banners and floats say, and how they’re announced for live TV coverage.

Karen and Steve Ostrove on the Journey to Israel trip.
Karen and Steve Ostrove on the Journey to Israel trip.

And then, on the day of the parade, Karen makes sure that all those people, all those banners, and all those floats get sent off properly, in the right order, from the starting line. Like a captain who is the last one to leave the ship, Karen is on that last float, getting off at the VIP grandstand near 72nd Street, at which point the parade is officially over.

Her husband, Steve, makes it a family affair. He was at the reviewing grandstand in a bright orange “Staff” shirt, near the media booth with all the TV cameras, making sure that there weren’t big gaps in the marchers, which would create “dead air” in the live television broadcast.


Best part: We got to have a mini-reunion from our trip, with Karen and Steve, Michele Herman and Bernie and Lana Dishler.