The “No Hate, No Fear” Solidarity March earlier this month, organized by New York’s Jewish community in the wake of recent anti-Semitic attacks, drew nearly 25,000 individuals.
I was a volunteer with the bullhorn brigade – my job was to make sure people were chanting and to keep everyone moving toward the Brooklyn Bridge and across it to a park in Cadman Plaza.
The crowds of participants jammed the streets in lower Manhattan as they waited their turns to get across the bridge. Throngs of demonstrators walked boldly across the Brooklyn Bridge in solidarity against anti-Semitism and all acts of hate.
A complaint I heard after the rally was that there was a lack of diversity – among those attending, among those speaking – but that’s not what I saw. Nearly every person who marched paraded past me and I saw a wide swatch of the Jewish community as well as secular supporters.
The rally on the other side of the bridge featured speakers from many of the Jewish denominations as well as author, Bari Weiss; The Maccabeats; the singer, Matisyahu; Eric Goldstein, CEO of UJA Federation-NY; and many others.
While I never made it to the actual rally – I never even made it to the Brooklyn Bridge – being with swarms of people (something I dreaded after I agreed to go) was quite moving in and of itself. I met new people, saw the children of colleagues, and ran into friends from as near as my apartment building to as far away as California. Every single person I met was sorry there had to be a march, but happy they could be there for it. Granted, I was giving away free signs, but I still think there was a genuine pride for our Jewish community and of the community of support from those of other backgrounds.