Jewish community marks Israel's 60th year

Hundreds of local Jews gathered Sunday to mark Israel's 60th birthday as a state and to show solidarity.

People gathered at the Solomon Schecter School of Westchester in Hartsdale to join their Israeli brothers and sisters in celebrating the day. The milestone is bittersweet for a state that has been plagued by years of religious war.

Consul General of Israel in New York Asaf Shariv spoke to the Westchester crowd. "A lot of our friends didn't believe we'd make it ? didn't believe we'd be a normal state after 60 years, and we are."Security is tight at Israel's borders during the celebrations. Meanwhile, peace talks between Israel and Palestinians continue to progress slowly. While in Jordan on Sunday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she feels both parties are moving in the right direction, but did not specify how peace could be achieved.

For the local Jewish community, politics took a backseat for the day to focus on friends, relatives, traditional food and music.

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