54th Annual Celebrate Israel Parade Announces Honorary Grand Marshals
Actor, Childhood Icon and Birthright Israel Alum Jonathan Lipnicki, TV Personality Siggy Flicker, World-Renowned Chef Eyal Shani, Singer, Entertainer, And Artist Lipa Schmeltzer, and Israeli Journalist Liel Leibovitz
Dina and Jonathan Leader are this year’s Grand Marshals
Performers Announced for 2018 Parade to join 40K Marchers, 30 Floats, 15 Marching Bands, and Thousands of Spectators
NEW YORK, N.Y. – May 18, 2018 – The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York
(JCRC-NY) today announced that Dina and Jonathan Leader will lead the 2018 Celebrate Israel Parade as Grand Marshals up Fifth Avenue on Sunday, June 3 in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators. Joining them as Honorary Grand Marshals will be actor, childhood icon and Birthright Israel alum Jonathan Lipnicki, TV personality Siggy Flicker, world-renowned and autodidact Chef Eyal Shani, singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer, and host of the Unorthodox Podcast, Liel Leibovitz.
More than 30 floats with musical performers, 15 world-class marching bands, and 40,000 marchers, including groups of rollerbladers, motorcyclists, dance groups, and juggling clowns, are scheduled to march along Fifth Avenue, from 57th Street to 74th Street, and entertain hundreds of thousands of spectators. This year’s creative theme for marching groups and floats is “70 and Sababa (70 & Awesome)!” in honor of the 70th Anniversary of Israel.
The Parade is the largest public event celebrating Israel in the world highlighting Israel’s rich heritage, vibrant culture, and the positive impact the Jewish and democratic state of Israel has on the lives of people around the world.
Grand Marshals Dina and Jonathan Leader – Dina and Jonathan Leader’s public life is totally focused around Judaism. Some of their accomplishments include creating Project Empowerment to help Russian-Jewish families who lost kin in 9-11; being the founding funders and organizers of the Hillel National Basketball Tournament at the University of Maryland; creating and funding the Leader Family Food Pantry at the Shorefront Jewish Community Council in Brooklyn; creating the Leader Family Scholarships for Jewish students at Yale University and the CUNY Hillels; and supporting myriad organizations in Israel including HaShomer Chadash, Green Horizons, and others. The Leaders have alternated as Board members of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York for over twenty five years.
Honorary Grand Marshal Jonathan Lipnicki – Lipnicki is an American actor and producer who got his start at the age of six in Jerry Maguire alongside Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger. Lipnicki went on to take leading roles in Stuart Little 1 and 2, Like Mike, and The Little Vampire. Lipnicki’s acting career has continued as he has dedicated his time to many independent films. Most recently, he appeared on TBS’s Drop the Mic, ABC’s Battle of the Network Stars and the 2017 horror film, Circus Kane. A Los Angeles native, Lipnicki competes as a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He returned from his Birthright Israel trip last August where he was honored as the 600,000th participant.
Honorary Grand Marshal Siggy Flicker – Siggy is a renowned motivational speaker, relationship expert, TV personality, and author. Siggy is known for sharing her inspirational message of #KnowYourWorth, self-assurance, and empowerment. She credits her strength to her Israeli born roots and is a staunch supporter of Israel and the Jewish community. As daughter to Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, scholar and Holocaust Survivor who ran the division of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem, Siggy understands the importance of education for peace, love, and tolerance and the vitality of standing up to evil, tyranny, and anti-Semitism.
Honorary Grand Marshal Eyal Shani – Shani is a self-taught chef whose culinary passion was first instilled in him by his grandfather, an agronomist and a dedicated vegan. He opened his first restaurant “Ocianus” in 1989 in his home town of Jerusalem, where he developed a unique culinary language based on regional Mediterranean products. In 1999, a second branch of “Ocianus” was opened in the seaside town of Hertziliya and the rest, as they say, is history. In 2004, Shani starred in the TV series, “Food for Thought,” side by side with Segal. In 2008, together with his partner Shahar Segal, Shani opened the “Salon” in Tel Aviv. Since then, he is the leading chef of 13 highly successful restaurants under the group named “The Better Guys” including 7 branches of Shani’s “Miznon” restaurant with locations in Tel Aviv, Paris, Vienna, Melbourne and the latest Miznon in Chelsea Market NYC opened January 2018.
Honorary Grand Marshal Lipa Schmeltzer – Lipa is a singer, entertainer, and artist within Hasidic as well as modern Jewish communities worldwide. He is well-known for his music, entertainment, and activism. He has released many blockbuster albums and music videos and has performed at numerous venues in Israel and around the world, including Madison Square Garden, Town Hall, and even in front of President Obama at a party at the White House. In 2009, he founded the Airmont Shul, where the only requirement is acceptance to all. Lipa is now active in recording new and upcoming artists. He is also working on a book of poetry in conjunction with Americare Home Care, to give the remaining Holocaust survivors a chance to speak their minds. At a late age, he went to school for secular education and graduated with honors from Columbia University in May 2018.
Honorary Grand Marshal Liel Leibovitz – Liel is a senior writer for Tablet Magazine and a co-host of its popular podcast, Unorthodox. He is also the author or co-author of seven books, including, most recently, A Broken Hallelujah: Rock n’ Roll, Redemption, and the Life of Leonard Cohen. A native of Tel Aviv and a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, Liel lives in Manhattan with his wife Lisa, a senior editor at Scholastic, and their two children.
Among the many bands and entertainers joining the parade this year- featured guests include: Performing at this year’s parade are:
- Ninet Tayeb – Tayeb is a rock artist based in LA who is recognized as one of the most influential musicians in Israel. The acclaimed singer/songwriter/actress was determined to bring her distinctive sound overseas and is arguably the biggest entertainment figure in her country. Over a decade ago, the aspiring artist first found success by winning “Israeli Idol.” Her debut album took less than a day to go platinum and yielded five #1 singles. Ninet is a two-time winner of Israel’s “Favorite Music Act” at MTV Europe’s Music Awards and a celebrated actress – she was nominated for Best Actress in the 2010 Israeli Theater Awards.
- Omri Anghel – Anghel is a NYC-based Israeli DJ and producer. For the past two decades, Anghel has been releasing music for labels like Jellybean, Eightball, Twisted, Whoop, and Tommy Boy and working with artists including Celeda, RuPaul, Assaf Amdursky, Dana International, and Darrell Martin. He served as music producer, sound designer, and video editor at Interlude, New York tech and media company, creating interactive video experiences for clients including Coca Cola, Sony Music, Warner Music, NBA, MTV, and Nickelodeon. Anghel is also the creator of comedy shorts for Israel’s prime time show “Future TV” on the Reshet Network. Omri spends his time combining the worlds of sound and vision with works of art and entertainment for many clients and his own repertoire.
- Kosha Dillz – American rapper, Rami Matan Even-Esh, has toured and performed with a variety of artists, including Ghostface Killah, Snoop Dogg, Matisyahu, Cage the Elephant, C-Rayz Walz, Yak Ballz and Aesop Rock. He has become a mainstay in the Hip Hop World and beyond, playing at the Paid Dues Festival, BK Hip Hop Festival, SXSW, CMJ, Rock The Bells, and Vans Warped Tour. Kosha was honored as one of The Jewish Week’s 2013 36 Under 36.
- National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s Fiddler on the Roof – Experience Fiddler on the Roof in a new way–in Yiddish, the language of Tevye and his family! Directed by Oscar and Tony Award-winner Joel Grey, the rich Yiddish translation of Fiddler on the Roof by Shraga Friedman, z”l, adds new depth and dimension to the most well-known Jewish musical in the world. Don’t miss the beloved story of a community and its struggle to balance traditions and desires in a changing world. The little town of Anatevka will bustle with the sounds of mame–loshn in the U.S. premiere of Fiddler in Yiddish from July 4 through August 26, 2018, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
- Yarden Klayman – A female saxophone player and DJ who is one of the most prominent in the events, clubs, and Deep House scene in Israel. Throughout the past year, her ‘Live on DJ’ performance has conquered stages, parties, and events all around the world, including Italy, Turkey, Greece, Germany, Azerbaijan and more. Her performance creates a unique combination of the DJ’s electronic music and her live improvisation on the saxophone. Together with the finest DJs, producers, and event planners in the Israeli industry, Yarden’s warm sound, catchy phrases, and energetic live performance has become a significant part of events and parties in Israel and abroad.
- Six13 – Driven by a mission to connect Jews around the globe with their heritage through music, anchored by a strong Jewish identity, and fueled by thumping beatbox, intricate arrangements, and soulful harmonies. Six13 is a six-man vocal band that brings an unprecedented style of Jewish music to the stage, with songs ranging from hip-hop dance tracks to rock anthems. The members of the New York City-based group sound like a full band – while using nothing but their voices. Six13 is a national phenomenon both on the internet (with over 7 million views on YouTube) and in traditional media, with numerous appearances in national television and press, and with their music songs from their six award-winning album played on mainstream radio across the globe. They have been featured on national television, in the Huffington Post, Jewish Week and Time Magazine, and have performed at the White House for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
- SOULFARM – Founded in Israel by Grammy Award winner lead guitarist C Lanzbom and guitarist and lead singer Noah Solomon Chase, their sound has been dubbed as New American music, full melodic song writing and progressive modern arrangements. Together with drummer Ben Antelis and bassist Daniel Ori, their live shows are full of Mediterranean flavor with captivating guitar leads, dance rhythms and strong percussion breaks.
- Milk & Honeys – An Afro Hebrew NYC-based band that brings a unique and refreshing blend of Israeli music with a wide range of influences, such as Afro-beat, Ethiopian music, R&B and Funk.
For the eighth year in a row, the Parade will be televised live by FOX affiliate, WWOR-TV My9 and streamed online from 12–3 p.m., Israelis and Israel supporters throughout the world can watch.
The Parade is produced in partnership with the UJA-Federation of New York and the Consulate General of Israel in New York.
For the latest information, please visit the Parade website at celebrateisraelny.org, follow us on Twitter @celebrateisrael, visit our Facebook page: Celebrate Israel Parade and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: www.YouTube.com/CelebrateIsraelNY.