Around 9,000 people throughout the Chicago metropolitan area participated in the annual Israel Solidarity Day, featuring the Walk with Israel May 3. The six-kilometer walks at seven locations highlighted Chicago’s support for Israel and its citizens and celebrated the 61st anniversary of Israel’s founding. The festivities also included entertainment and food.
More than 1,300 attended the City Walk, while about 1,800 participated in Buffalo Grove. About 400 celebrated in Oak Park, 300 in Flossmoor, nearly 300 in Naperville. Record crowds showed their Israel pride in Highland Park, which attracted almost 3,000. A Walk and the Kosher Chicago Festival drew nearly 1,700 from Skokie, Lincolnwood, Peterson Park and Rogers Park.
The Walks raised nearly $150,000 for the more than 10,000 children in the Sderot area, who have lived under constant rocket attack threat for eight years. All donations to the Walk will provide a summer of safe activities for the kids, including camp experiences and day trips out of the area, art supplies, leadership training and meals.
“The need is so great and we want to show our brethren in Israel that we are siding with them,” said Zenia Cohen, the chair of the Skokie/Lincolnwood/Rogers Park/Peterson Park Walk. “Even though we are far away in miles, we are close with them at heart.”
Read more about Israel Solidarity Day and the Walk with Israel in the following locations:
View a 2009 Walk with Israel photo album.