Approximately 5,000 people crowded Nostrand Avenue between Gravesend Neck Road and Avenue V on Sunday, coming together to celebrate Israeli history and culture.

For more than 10 years now, the Kings Bay YM-YWHA has been organizing the event to “present the history, diversity and culture of Israel, and not politics,” said Leonard Petlakh, executive director of the Kings Bay Y.

Around two dozen tables kept the crowd busy with arts and crafts, Israeli jewelry and art, products and information. Inflatable amusements buffered both ends of the event, with a stage in the middle playing Israeli and other tunes for the audience. Borough President Marty Markowitz came, along with other local politicians. The event was not just for Jewish residents – almost every race, religion and ethnicity could be counted among the attendees.

“I think that the community had an incredible time with so many various activities for the children, and such great music performances,” Petlakh said. “Next year, we hope to invite some celebrities or musical performers from Israel.”

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