BEACHWOOD, Ohio (WJW) – Hundreds of Clevelanders will take part in a pro-Israel rally on the National Mall in Washington D.C. today.

Busloads of people left overnight.

Tuesday’s event in Washington D.C. was expected to be so big the National Guard was called to help D.C. police with crowd control and road closures. Many Northeast Ohioans were to be among those crowds.

Just after midnight, 1,600 people loaded 25 buses. The caravan will join tens of thousands of people at the March for Israel in Washington D.C.

In D.C. crews have been working around the clock to get everything ready for the event since such a large crowd is expected. Basically, all roads around the National Mall are closed until 6 p.m.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is hosting the rally, calling for the release of hostages in Gaza and an end to antisemitism. The president of our local chapter recently visited Israel and saw the violence firsthand.

She says with the rise in the desecration of cemeteries in our area and recent violence against Jews in Columbus, this march is a must.

“I think it shows that people know that right now is not the time to be silent,” said Erika Rudin-Luria, president of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. “Showing up counts. The message we sent out to people was take your kids, cancel your plans that you have so that you can explain to them that there is something that is threatening me and my family right now today in this country.”

Today’s event is at 1 p.m. It’s called a march but they say it’s actually a rally, static on the National Mall.

Police say there were no credible threats for Washinton D.C. but they are urging the local community to remain vigilant.