The sound of the shofar being played, passing cars honking in approval, and over one thousand marching down Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield on Sunday could only indicate another year of Israeli independence being celebrated at .
A high temperature hovering around 70 degrees and sunny skies which eventually gave way to clouds welcomed a crowd of 1,100 to celebrate what congregants Janice Schwartz and Art Fishman called "the best Walk ever."
"Last year's event was kind of rainy and cold, but this year we've come back in a big way," said Schwartz, the president of the reform temple's Sisterhood group. "I had a lot of fun meeting people and I'd say this was the best Walk ever, at least, the best that I'd been to."
The event, now in its seventh year since being reorganized by a group of volunteers, hearkens back to annual celebrations organized by the Metro Detroit Jewish community since the establishment of the Jewish state on May 14, 1948.
"I'm not sure we've ever had as many interested politicians here and that means a lot to the message getting out there," Fishman added.
U.S. Rep Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township) spoke in support of foreign aid to Israel despite a harsh economic climate, and against the threat of a nuclear Iran. Supporters marched from the temple on Walnut Lake Road south on Orchard Lake Road and back.
The state of Israel was declared just eight hours before the end of the British Mandate for Palestine was to end on May 15. It was based on U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181, which laid out a plan to divide the area of the mandate to establish both a Jewish and an Arab state.
Israel was quickly recognized by the United States and the Soviet Union, but the Arab nations opposed division of the land, and six of them launched military attacks against the Jewish state. The new Arab state was never established. Today, only Egypt and Jordan have peace treaties with Israel, and Israel’s borders — and even its right to exist — remain a contentious issue worldwide.