Jewish community celebrates 70th anniversary in US, raises Israeli flag

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The Jewish community in the United States has celebrated its 70th anniversary in the country.

The ceremony, which was held at the Bowling Green on Thursday April 27, 2023, was well attended by dignitaries and leaders across the State.

Tracing the historic event which triggered this year’s celebration the custodian of the Jewish community appreciated the efforts of the pioneer leaders.

“Right here in September, 1654, another powerful, all-important event took place right here that in fact would play an essential role in what took place in nineteen forty eight, three hundred and seventy four years later, on September 7th, 1654, right here, 23 Observant Jews, men, women, and children were the first ever to come to North America, and they did so right here,” he said.

He noted that the pioneer members of the Jewish were fleeing oppression, from Portugal and Brazil, seeking a new home, they could call their own and practice their religion.

“They arrived here, then knew Amsterdam and stood exactly where we stand tonight. And while the Dutch rulers discouraged them, they stayed and they prospered. What these 23 Jewish pioneers did was to begin the legendary Jewish experience in America,” he said.

He told the gathering that “there havr been Jews in America ever since.”

He informed the gathering that the Jewish community in America has become one of the most important and successful in American history.

He assured that President Truman and the American government fully supported the establishment of the state of Israel, which was important for its creation and its success ever since.

“So in my view, there was no better place in the United States for Jews and friends of the Jewish community to gather, to celebrate the 75th anniversary because of what took place here in September, 1654. And why so many distinguished Jewish leaders led by our master of ceremonies, rabbi Joseph Pan Potass are here, and why this crowd has gathered tonight,” he stated.

He continued, “And while many of us may not be here in 2048 for the 100th anniversary, let us pray tonight. Many more will be here to raise the American and Israeli flags right here. And that both our nations more secure and more prosperous than ever.

“In 2048 when we light these candles in a short while as the sun sets and darkness gathers, and the mayor arrives, and these candles fill bowling green with their light. When you leave this evening, you may take the candle and toss it away, or you might keep it someplace in your home.

“As a simple reminder of this evening and why we are here, and on very special occasions, we lighted both in honor of Israel and as much the 23 Jews who arrived here in 1654 and began this never ending journey. Now it is my greatest pleasure to introduce the, the well respected, the best person on earth to be master of ceremonies tonight, rabbi Joseph Potass, widely known as the Rabbi of Bowling Green. Thank you.”

While reminiscing the past ugly experiences of the Jews, he maintained that “This is a week for the Jewish people of sweet sorrow. We tasted sadness. We came together memorial services. Tonight, we celebrate the sweetness. I remember father loved ones, he out down the graves and say, very simply, Yiddish des Andor, we’re here. We didn’t forget you. So this week at those memorial services, we sit in our own way.

“We are here tonight at a celebration. We say to Israel, we are here and we proudly stand with you. It’s a great pleasure to welcome from the Simon w Michael Cole.”

“Thank you so much, and thank you Arthur, and thank you everyone and all of the individuals help put this together. You know, it’s so critical to be here, here today. I’m the 70th anniversary of the state of Israel. What we see around the globe, rising in antisemitism, and we see here today that we can all be so proud of the accomplishments of the Jewish people.

We can all be so proud of showing everyone the heart of New York, how impressive Israel is, how amazing it is, and what all the Jewish people stand for. It’s really, thank you everybody who has such a big part of this. “
Also speaking at the event, the Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, stated, “There’s only one Rabbi Potasnik. And he’s right, just a longtime friend and advisor and a person that truly loves this city and the people in this city. And we have been side by side on many occasions when we saw the ugly face of hate expose itself. It didn’t matter if it was fighting on behalf of our brothers and sisters from the Muslim community when women were attacked for wearing a hijab. If it’s someone that draws a swastika on a building or desecrates a church statue or harms someone because they’re from the AAPI community, there’s just a consistent understanding that we must lift each other up.”

He added, “And he represents what’s best about us, I say all the time, we’re members of the greatest race alive, the human race, and you are truly a representation of that.”

Adams continued, “We know, and no matter what people say on other parts of the globe or in other cities, we know that New York is the Tel Aviv of America. We have the largest Jewish population outside of Israel right here. And on my two visits there and getting ready to return again, we know what the Israeli people stand for and what they represent across the entire globe. Built into your culture is what you call mitzvah. You believe in giving back. You believe in ensuring that you help your fellow man and women. That is who you are. And so when we stand here and celebrate your anniversary, your independence, your creation, that is also a celebration for those who have touched in many ways.”

Let’s continue to uplift each other, let’s continue to stand for what is right and let’s continue to raise the flag in solidarity with Israel. Thank you very much. Thank you, Rabbi,” he concluded.

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