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The parade that united the community

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Those passing by James and Ethel Gray Park in Johannesburg last Sunday, were in for a surprise as the Lag B’Omer Jewish Unity Parade, with participants from many Jewish day schools and synagogues, paraded through the street showing their Jewish pride.
by RABBI PINNI PINK | May 18, 2017

“Lag B’Omer is traditionally a day of unity and celebration,” said Rabbi Michael Katz, a director of Chabad House. “The parade offers the community an avenue to show our togetherness, and put our Jewish pride on display.”

The parade kicked off at the park with the participation of the South African Police Marching Band, the SAPS horses, and the Bambanani and Torah Academy Marching Bands. Floats from Torah Academy Girls’ High and Boys’ High Schools, highlighted the procession, along with Rebbe's Bikers group and members of each of Johannesburg’s Chabad Houses.

The parade made its way to the Great Park Shul forest where it was officially opened by Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein and the junior mayor of Johannesburg, Joseph Joffe.

Everyone enjoyed the exhilarating African Acrobats and a show by the Soweto Gum Boot Dancers. This was followed by a fun fair for the children to enjoy for the rest of Lab B’Omer day.

“There was an unbelievable communal spirit despite the weather,” said Jamie Frankel. “It was just a beautiful vibe - unforgettable.”

Chad Cohen said the children had a terrific time. “Just seeing all those smile - at the parade and at the funfair - was so heart-warming.”

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