How Canadians felt marching for Israel at the historic Washington rally

An estimated 300,000 people showed up for the historic March for Israel in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14, 2023. (Photo by Gita and Steve Berman)

The historic March for Israel in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14 is already being described as the largest public rally by Jewish people in American history, with an estimated crowd of 300,000 people gathering at the capital’s National Mall. Among them were at least 2,000 Canadians. Some were driven in on buses from Jewish high schools, such as Yeshivat Or Chaim and TanenbaumCHAT; some flew from Montreal aboard a plane chartered by Federation CJA; others simply drove themselves on their own dime.

One thing unites them: they all wanted to be part of the effort to support Israel, campaigning to free the 240 hostages in Gaza and fighting back against widespread antisemitism in the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas.

For nearly four hours, they heard speeches from top U.S. lawmakers, Israeli politician Natan Sharansky, families of Israeli hostages, actors such as Debra Messing, and live performances by Israeli pop stars Ishay Ribo and Omer Adam.

On today’s episode of The CJN Daily, host Ellin Bessner speaks to several Canadians who made the long trip: Toronto’s Susan Osher and her niece Dani Schkolne, 23; Montrealers Rabbi Reuben Poupko and CIJA national chair Gail Adelson-Marcovitz; Toronto high school student Adin Bendat-Appell, 15, and his mother, Yael; and Jacob Rifkind and Akyva Spiegel, members of Shaarei Shomayim synagogue in Toronto.

What we talked about

  • Watch the March on Washington video on YouTube
  • Read how Toronto’s Jewish, Iranian and Ukrainian communities rallied for Israel on Nov. 12 at Christie Pits park, in The CJN
  • Why Canadian police aren’t doing more to stop antisemitic speech, on The CJN Daily


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.