Photos: Dovi Meyer Photography
Thousands took part in one of Sydney’s greatest Jewish parades in recent times, at The Great Parade which took place in honor of the festival of Lag Baomer.
Starting at the iconic Bondi Beach on a beautiful Sunday morning, thousands gathered to watch the very talented Paul Chamberlain and Tommy Guns perform their BMX stunt show.
Following the show, formalities were emceed by Director of the Parade and Chabad Youth NSW, Rabbi Elimelech Levy and included greetings from Dean and Spiritual Leader of the Yeshiva Centre – Chabad NSW Headquarters, Head Shliach Rabbi Pinchus Feldman OAM as well as Rabbi Michoel Gourarie, Director and Head Rabbi at Bina. The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP – Federal Member for Wentworth – Minister for Communications, The Hon. Gabrielle Upton MP – Minister for Family and Community Services, State Member for Vaucluse, The Hon. Ron Hoenig MP – Shadow Minister for Energy, and Shadow Minister for Ports – Member for Heffron, The Hon. Walter Secord, MLC – Shadow Minister for Roads, and Shadow Minister for the North Coast – Mr. Bruce Notley Smith MP – Member for Coogee and Councillor, Leon Goltsman of Waverley Council.
Following the Government representatives, schools children from around Sydney were called on to recite 12 Passages taken from the Torah and traditional teachings. Representatives came from Yeshiva College, Kesser Torah College, Mount Sinai College, Jewish Educational Matters, Board of Jewish education NSW, Bellevue Hill Public School and Masada College.
Event organizer Rabbi Elimelech Levy said, “it was truly an amazing event, it brought the whole community came together in celebration. All the schools supported and promoted the Great Parade. A special thank you to Rabbis Goldstein and Wilansky of Yeshiva College, Rabbis Glogauer, Straiton, Chaiton and Milecki of Kesser Torah college, Rabbi Ellie Farkas and Rozana Pleshet of Mount Sinai college, Itzik Stockman and Mr Rod Krigstein at Moriah college, Adam Carpenter at Emanuel School and Rabbi Widmonte and Naomi Heilpern at Masada college.
Following the formalities, the Police held the traffic to allow for the Parade.
Leading the way were 11 floats each by a different organization, each with another positive message to the world. Next came an impressive group of motorbikes – Yidden on wheels and Vintage cars followed by Horse mounted Police and the main Banner. Then came the Royal Australian Navy Band, chickens and clowns and the whole community carrying banners of all colors and sizes encouraging acts of goodness and kindness.
Thousands of bystanders along the route were cheering on the parade and taking pictures on their phones. Many joined in and sang along with the happy songs.
The Parade culminated at Barracluff Park where there was Dodgem Cars, Flying chairs, bungee trampoline and many more amusements awaited the excited paraders. Also at the park was a delicious barbeque and live band, banner competition, arts and crafts, magic show and more.
“Everyone had such a great time,” said Rabbi Danny Winterfeld, assistant organizer of the Parade. “Adults and children really enjoyed themselves; there was a wonderful atmosphere.”
“Even the weather was perfect,” said Rabbi Levy, “not too hot and not too cold, just right for a parade through Sydney’s busy Bondi.
“We are very thankful to all those who helped make Lag Baomer such a great day, the sponsors, the communal leaders, volunteers and all those who participated. We would also like to thank all the fabulous volunteers as well as Natalie Weinberg, Young Adult Chabad and the Talmidei haShluchim: Bentzy Deray, Yossi Nigri and Benny Barukh for all their efforts.”