Over 1400 YU Students and Faculty to Attend Pro-Israel Rally in DC; Classes Cancelled
Over 1400 Yeshiva University undergraduate and graduate students and faculty will attend the “March for Israel” rally in Washington D.C. Tuesday, joining what is anticipated to be a crowd of tens of thousands of people to show support for Israel.
Approximately 30 buses, sponsored by YU, will depart from both campuses at 6 a.m. and will be limited to those who register in advance via CampusGroups, a recently launched online platform through which students register for various activities around campus. Registration will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
First announced by President Ari Berman on social media Sunday with the caption “See you in Washington,” Berman’s announcement was accompanied by the cancellation of classes for the day.
“There are times when Hashem invites us to participate in the unfolding of Jewish history,” Berman told the Commentator when asked about why this trip was so important to him and to YU. “This is one of those times.”
Tuesday’s classes will be rescheduled as Friday classes, replacing the Friday schedule originally scheduled for Nov. 21, with YC midterms being pushed off to the next class.
“In today’s world, political activism is essential, and we have the power as an extended YU family to show the strength of our numbers and to be heard — sharing and showing our values in action,” stated an email sent by multiple YU deans to students Tuesday.
The March for Israel, organized jointly by the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, will take place on the National Mall. The goal of the rally is to demand the return of over 200 hostages being held in Gaza following Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel Oct. 7, condemn rising antisemitism around the world and thank Congress and the Biden administration for their support of Israel.
“The March will be an opportunity for all Americans to come together in solidarity with the people of Israel,” Jewish Federations of North America announced in a press release, “To demonstrate our commitment to America’s most important ally in the Middle East, to condemn the rising trend of antisemitic violence and harassment, and to demand that every hostage be immediately and safely released.”
Rosh Chodesh davening will take place in various locations on Wilf Campus at 5:25 a.m., with Shmonah Esrei and kriyat hatorah taking place at the earliest zman, followed by Hallel and Mussaf on the buses, according to MTA Menahel Rabbi Shimon Schenker. Hundreds of MTA students will attend the rally as well.
The rally, officially announced on Monday, will be held from 1-3 p.m., with gates at the National Mall opening at 10 a.m. Busses are expected to park at a distance from the rally, with students taking the D.C. metro to the National Mall. Food will be brought on the buses.
The rally is expected to have a similar impact and attendance as a 1987 rally in support of Soviet Jewry and a 2002 rally supporting Israel during the Second Intifada, which drew crowds of nearly 100,000. Students from other schools in the New York area will be attending as well, along with others from across the country.
A pro-Palestinian rally, attended by a few thousand people, was held in D.C. Saturday and according to the Anti-Defamation League, featured antisemitic speeches and iconography.
Photo Caption: The National Mall in Washington D.C.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Rhee / Unsplash