Thousands Party in Times Square for Israel’s 70th Birthday
Times Square rocked with thousands of partygoers on Sunday evening, as New Yorkers, Israelis, and tourists from around the world came together to celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary.
Headed by Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sport, and the Consulate General of Israel in New York; the enormous block party began at 8:00pm with a countdown in the timeless style of New Year’s Eve parties in the square.
The beat dropped, and the party raged. Performances by Israeli Broadway star Shiri Maimon and DJ Omri Anghel took control of the rest of the evening, with crowd favorites by Omer Adam, Moshe Peretz and Israel’s Eurovision champion Netta blasting out from the heart of the city.
Joining Maimon and Anghel on stage were Israel’s Minister for Culture and Sport Miri Regev; Israel’s Consul General to New York, Ambassador Dani Dayan; and MKs who had joined a delegation for to New York.
Sunday night’s event marks the first time a foreign country has held a celebration in the iconic plaza, and the atmosphere lived up to the best block parties Israel has to offer.
The famous screens surrounding the partygoers broadcast spectacular images of Israel’s “History of Innovation” for much of the evening, sharing the Jewish state’s progress and prowess in science and technology, along with highlights of its stunning scenery and cultural and religious depth.
Video welcomes from celebrities such as Michael Douglas and Mayim Bialik; and political leaders including Senator Chuck Schumer, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Mayor Bill de Blasio also wished the crowds “Mazal Tov”.
Preceding the party, a VIP reception was held in the Renaissance Hotel overlooking the square. Minister Regev and Ambassador Dayan hosted the evening, with national anthems performed by Gloria Gaynor and Shiri Maimon, who sang the Star-Spangled Banner and Hatikvah respectively.
Minister for Culture and Sport, Miri Regev: “Tonight, we painted Times Square in blue and white. It was exciting to see thousands of Israelis, tourists and locals dancing and singing Israeli music together. I would like to thank the American leadership and people for their unqualified support for the State of Israel. We have again demonstrated our strong relationship with the United States. Thank you to our Consul General, Ambassador Dani Dayan, the NYPD, the Governor of New York, and the Mayor who successfully assisted the event.”
Consul General of Israel in New York, Ambassador Dani Dayan: “Israel and the United States have the strongest partnership in the world, and tonight we marked it in an unprecedented way. Friends who celebrate together stick together, and I am proud that we marked our country’s special birthday with so many close friends and supporters, coming from every walk of life here in New York.”
In attendance were elected officials, leaders of the Jewish community, and significant figures from the worlds of academia, business, and media.
Guests included: Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), NY Assemblyman and Co-Chair of the Democratic National Committee Michael Blake, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Jewish Community Relations Council CEO Rabbi Michael Miller, American Jewish Coalition CEO David Harris, Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations Chairman Stephen Greenberg, and National Director Emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League Abe Foxman.