Marching for Israel with joy, pride and hope

By Abigail Goldberg

I had the incredible privilege to attend the March for Israel in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, November 14. 

I traveled to D.C. with my mom, Deborah; my brother Noah; my friends, Yuvi and Tracey; and my Federation colleague, Alison Roemer. We were booked on a 6 a.m. flight Tuesday morning — anticipating that flight was only the beginning of my feelings of excitement and joy and Jewish pride. I barely slept the night before. I wasn’t scared one bit to travel for a public display of solidarity, hope and pride for a Jewish future in the U.S. and in the State of Israel. 

 People kept asking me before I traveled, “Do you feel nervous or scared for obvious safety reasons?” No. Not at all. As I walked through the Louisville airport, sat in my seat on the plane, made my way through Dulles airport, boarded the Metro and walked along the streets of Capitol Hill — I was wearing my sweatshirt emblazoned with the word LOVE and a Jewish star. While on the Metro, people felt free to ask us questions about where to go for the March, and I felt confident answering them because I knew they had my back and I had theirs. 

As we arrived at the National Mall, with my Israeli flag tied around my neck, I felt nothing but joy, security, hope and pride to be attending this alongside nearly 300,000 of my closest friends and family. The music, the singing of Hatikvah, hearing to the names of loved ones kidnapped by Hamas read aloud, listening to our Senate and Congressional leaders speak – and Omar Adam, Matisyahu, and others perform — these were some of the sounds that filled me, and those around me and around the world listening, with hope. 

I bumped into friends I knew from New York, North Carolina, and Cincinnati who I’d met through work, and ran into old friends from Jewish sleepaway camp I hadn’t seen in years. Attending the March, I felt like I finally was able to do something positive in response to the atrocities that occurred in Israel on October 7 at the hands of Hamas. The only other time I have felt this secure to be Jewish in a public display was at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. But there in Washington D.C., I could feel that same sensation of being surrounded by Jews and non-Jews, all of whom were there for a common reason, expressing our love for the State of Israel, our love of being Jewish, and standing in solidarity to honor those brutally murdered by Hamas and the hostages still in captivity, fighting to BRING THEM HOME. 

Tuesday, November 14 will stay with me for the rest of my life. I continued to wear my Israeli flag while leaving the Mall and riding the Metro back to the airport, still wearing that same LOVE sweatshirt with the Star of David all the way back to my home in Louisville. I’m proud to be Jewish 10 times more than anyone may hate me for it. 



Abigail Goldberg is teen director at the Jewish Federation of Louisville

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