NEW YORK, June 16 /CNW/ -- "Sir Ivan" Wilzig aka Mr. Mitzvah, the first
Jewish superhero on TV, wowed the crowds as the Honorary Grand Marshal for the
Salute to Israel Parade in New York. This year's parade marked the country's
60th Anniversary. The internationally famed recording artist marched next to
New York's top political leaders, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor David
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080616/NYM042 )
Although his late father Siggi B. Wilzig, an Auschwitz survivor and
legendary banker, bought over $100 million dollars worth of Israel Bonds in
his lifetime and received the Prime Minister's Medal for supporting the State
of Israel, it was his son's hysterical over-the-top performance as Mr.
Mitzvah, the world's first Jewish superhero, that inspired the Israel
Independence Day Parade organizers to pick "Sir Ivan" Wilzig to be the
Honorary Grand Marshal of the parade this past Sunday.
According to I.M.D.B., the television industry's internet measurement
guide of popularity, "Sir Ivan" was by far the most popular contestant on the
Sci Fi Channel's hit reality show "Who Wants To Be A Superhero?" produced by
comic book superhero creative genius Stan Lee. The Mr. Mitzvah character stood
out from the pack and was particularly unusual because "Sir Ivan" looked like
the bleach-blonde rock star Billy Idol but sounded like the Broadway comedian
Sixty shofars were blown in unison to start things off in style. "Sir
Ivan" in his Mr. Mitzvah superhero costume marched alongside Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, the Grand Marshal of the Parade and Governor David Patterson of New
York. Fellow marchers also included "Dancing with the Stars" Steve
Guttenberg and Marissa Jaret Winokur, along with Valerie Harper, Lainie Kazan,
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa and hip-hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari.
Marching bands, horse-drawn carriages, antique cars and luxury limousines
carrying the waving celebrities worked their way north alongside street
performers, clowns, jugglers and face painters.
Afterwards, the parade hosted the largest hora, the traditional Israeli
dance, ever attempted since 1948, with hundreds of dancers covering all 22
blocks of the parade's route -- from 57th Street to 79th Street. About 200
pro-Palestinian counter demonstrators watched from behind police barricades.
Pro-Israel parade-goers hoisted the country's blue and white flag and sang
Jewish folk songs. Contingents from yeshivas and Jewish day schools around the
region marched in their school T-shirts. The Salute to Israel Parade is the
largest and most exciting Jewish community parade in the world. In this 60th
Anniversary year, over 100,000 participants marched proudly up Fifth Avenue,
cheered on by more than one million spectators. Millions more watched the
parade on television.
For more information, please go to www.sirivanmusic.com.
For further information:
For further information: Edward Callaghan or John Wegorzewski, for "Sir
Ivan", +1-631-283-9130, Web Site: http://www.sirivanmusic.com