Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


The Big Parade

Filed under : Judaism,New York City
On June 4, 2006
At 5:38 pm
Comments : 16

If you are part of any ethnic group at all they will have a parade for you in New York City. Sure, you’ve heard of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade but did you also know that if you’re a German-American, they have the Steuben Day Parade just for you? Feeling a wee bit Scottish? Enjoy your very own Tartan Day Parade!

Well, you may not have heard, but here in New York, we have quite a few Jews. And naturally, we get a parade. It’s the Salute to Israel Parade and I spent my afternoon saluting. Now, our parade is not especially like the famous ones. Unlike the St. Pats parade, there are no drunken hordes with “Kiss Me, I’m Jewish” buttons. And unlike the Puerto Rican Day Parade, there is no danger to skimpily clad women in the park. Ours is pretty tame. For one thing, not a lot of people come. “Yay, I’m Jewish!” might be something one feels, but there’s no need to do a whole parade thing, is what I guess most people think.

Most of the marching groups are religious schools. Like this one.

Sometimes famous Jews show up. Here’s Dr. Ruth. She got her own birthday float. I wanted to shout a question at her, but, well, my whole family was there.

There are always politicians. They need the ethnic vote. Sure they do, everyone here is part of their own special group. I missed Hillary Clinton and Mike Bloomberg (I think they had to run off to the Philippine Day Parade; it was also today. Duh, we have too many ethnicities to just have one parade per day). But I did catch Congressman Anthony Weiner. It’s easy to catch him. You can see why from this photo. Notice he and his sign-bearer are walking backwards along the parade route. His M.O. is to walk back and forth several times in order to shake as many hands as possible. I play this game in my head where, every time you see him, you have to think up a catchy campaign slogan for him, like “Vote for a Weiner” and “You know you want a Weiner in office.”

He’s the guy with the megaphone. His sign-lady gets extra points for wearing a nice, modest, religious-type outfit.

But here’s the funnest thing about the Salute to Israel Parade. See, as I mentioned, most of the marchers are from religious schools like the one I went to. In fact, here’s one of my alma maters. The girls look a little slutty, hm.

But anyway, since they have to fit in subjects like Talmud and Prophets along with your typical English and math fare, there is no time for music. There are no Yeshivas with marching bands. So, we import them, just for our parade. I know what you’re thinking: but, Becca, they look so Jewish!

(click to enlarge)

But don’t worry, here’s a reminder of whose parade it is:

Yeah, you just don’t see the Manischewitz float at the Caribbean Parade.

10,000 Maniacs – The Big Parade

Ironically, I could have used this in my “Songs about Vietnam post” but I didn’t. Phew. Now I can use it here.

Thanks for all your holiday wishes, I did indeed have a lovely Shavuot. And special thanks go to Culotte who kept you all entertained while I was cheesifying. In case you didn’t check out Culotte’s blog (shame on you!) you are specially invited to today because I am the guest blogger! Yes, it’s J-Ball does C-Folle (in the bloggy sense, get your mind out of the gutter). I always thought Culotte’s blog was so much more sophistimacated than mine so I especially appreciate the guest stint. It’s aesthetically lovely and she’s a real writer who has appeared on the radio and everything. Find out why. Not today though, because I’m on there.


16 Comments for this post

  1. Celia says:

    How many visitors to your site can claim to have MARCHED in the Salute to Israel Day Parade?

    It was a BBYO thing. I was probably 16.

  2. Becca says:

    I think it’s just you and I, Celia. For me it was the most exercise I ever got since they also had to cut out gym for all those extra Hebrew and Mishna classes.

  3. steph says:

    My G-D, I love you. You do truly make me laugh and laugh, not AT you or your religious upbringing but your ability to write humorously and enjoy it. It’s a gift, my friend. We may never meet face to face but you will always be near and dear to my heart.

  4. Jane says:

    So parades in New York don’t have classic cars, huh?

  5. Culotte says:

    {ringing bell}

    Get yer double dose of J-Ball over on C-Folle…

    (Aren’t we a couple of parade fiends this weekend? LOVE the manischewitz float).

  6. Becca says:

    Steph, you should come out for the “Farmer’s Independence Parade.” Then we’ll make each other laugh and laugh.

    Jane, er, no, not so much. But of course, this is the only one of NY’s 8763 parades that I actually attend.

    Culotte, I kept looking for the heifers, but I never saw any. .

  7. Jane says:

    Is a parade without balding men driving classic cars *really* a parade? I think not.

    What about horse poop? Did the people have to march through horse poop?

  8. Becca says:

    Yeah, yeah. Do your parades have Dr. Ruth?

    Well, no, but I hear the Farmer’s Independence parade has plenty.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Although I actually know about the origins of manischewitz, I have no idea why that scary orange dude is on their float. He reminds me of a villain I saw once on Scooby Doo. Why is he there? To scare away puertoricans?

  10. vvswgirl says:

    Becca – love the blog – i linked over the Overheard in NYC page and saw this little entry and wanted to send it to you in case you didn’t see it –

    Maybe That Worked on Your Mormon Girlfriend
    Skinny white guy: I’m like, really excited for that Israel parade. Like, I think it will be a really nice experience for me.
    Jewish girl: Mmhmm.
    Skinny white guy: No, I’m serious. I love Jews. And like, I’m not just saying it to get into your pants.

    –Penn Station

    Lot you might get a kick…


  11. Becca says:

    Anonymous, he scared me as well. I took several pictures of him as well but they ended up on the blogging-room floor.

    VVVS, ha! That’s hysterical. It was quite a singles scene, I have to say.

  12. Sharky says:

    Ok, that’s it. I need to start reading my daily Beccablog. This made me giggle tremendously. Of course, that’s mostly because I’m tremendous. ‘Nuff said.

  13. psycho says:

    i love becca and i love becca’s blog.

  14. Becca says:

    Sharky, that would be tremendous!

    Psycho, subtle.

  15. RN says:

    What no Shriners driving little cars shaped like bowling pins?

    What about twirlers? I don’t think it classifies as a “real” parade without twirlers.

  16. Becca says:

    I was twirling; you just couldn’t see me.

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