Running For Israel

We would like to thank everyone that supported Running for Israel this year. Your efforts made a difference!

"... Most unforgettable - the support and cheering that we received from all New Yorkers. Having spent the first 28 years of my life in the former Soviet Union, living in an environment of hate and derogatory remarks towards Jews, it was wonderful to hear chears of support in all the neighborhoods from people of different backgrounds and races: "GO ISRAEL,GO" (They read the sign on my shirt). This was very moving and gave me a lot of strength...."

- Phil Resnick

"...Mine was truly a group effort. Various friends had run with me, training me for six months. Some friends and my brother ran with me for various parts of the race, and got water for me. Friends with marathon experience gave me significant advice. At races and at the coral I met new friends with more advice and support and smiles and enthusiasm. And then there are other friends with financial motivation, promising to give charity if I finish the race; I knew that every mile I ran brought me closer to raising money for Israel and the worthy causes that Running for Israel supports. It may be my face on the photo crossing the finish line, but there were many souls escorting me and smiling with me in that picture....

- Oren Adler

"It was a great day, a cause that had meaning for me and my family, and a road race on a beautiful morning. I knew what I was looking for and that made all the difference."

- Ben Frank , New Jersey 10 Miler

All the three RFI runners finished - and we were the talk of town. One could hear many people talk about Israel when they saw us running. A lot of spectators cheered us on, including Israelis who originally came to support their Israeli friends and were moved to see Germans run for them.. I fulfilled my dream and crossed the finish line with an oversize flag of Israel in my hand: It all gave me Goosebumps.

--Rolf Behrens; Berlin Marathon

Until I ran for Israel through Rabbi Ertel's Running for Israel program, the only competitive race that I had ever participated in was a 3 mile Corporate Challenge back in 1994. One day, a couple of my friends suggested that we run a half marathon (13.2 miles). While going through my emails, I came across a link to the Running for Israel web site which offers runners, in any race, the opportunity to raise money for wonderful causes in Israel. Knowing that I was raising money for Israel is what motivated me to train for the race, and inspired me to keep on going as my early morning practice runs increased in duration. I had a mission which kept me charged until I crossed the finish in 1:49. It was a great feeling knowing that I had accomplished what I set out to do and raised money that, among other things, would help put food on the table for our brothers in need in Israel.

-Bruce R. Schlanger - Seaside Heights Half Marathon

Rabbi Ertel made it really easy to turn a small race into something very big. As I asked all my friends and co-workers to support me in not only my first New Year's resolution and my first race ever but for four very worthwhile charities, the donations flooded in. One action begot another. The support helped me to stay focused on my training and my training inspired others to get involved. I added more team members and more contributions and Rabbi E was there encouraging me the whole time. On race day it was cold, windy and rainy and it was very early in the morning. There we were in our matching RFI shirts with 4 miles of wet road to conquer. Since my training only took me to a 3k, it was a little nerve wracking but I pushed through that last mile with my sights on the finish line and the sounds of cheering from my family and friends who came out so early in the rain to support me. In the end, I raised over $2,000 for a four mile race and it felt great! What a huge feeling of personal accomplishment and at the same time I got to help Eretz Yisroel. This whole experience was beyond amazing!!!

--Lauren Levy (right) Central Park 4 Miler

There's a natural high you feel when running. And, there is an even higher level of emotion when running races with thousands of people surrounding you. After spending the last year training, running races, and pushing myself to be stronger, both mentally and physically, I found the team Running For Israel and found a wonderful cause that enables me to combine my two loves: Running and Israel. Growing up in a Zionistic home, I have always had a strong connection and deep love for the State of Israel. Living in the U.S. forces me to find ways to support Israel from afar. Joining this team allows my friends and family to contribute to the Israeli people while supporting me. I became inspired by friends to start running, and I too have tried to spread that inspiration to others. No matter what time of day or night, I push myself and my friends to keep going strong because, at the end of every run, we always know how good we feel. I plan on running 9 races this year, including a marathon, as part of the RFI team, and I am looking forward to the start line and finish line of every race. I will be running with friends and family by my side, cheering me on from the sidelines, and donating to 4 charities o n my behalf. Everytime I cross that finish line, chills run through my body, and I begin to cry and smile. The adrenaline and excitement keeps me smiling for days...

Jodi Buckman (Left) Central Park 4 Mile

I “ran for Israel” at the 2005 San Diego Rock ‘N Roll Marathon. It was a great honor to be affiliated with this program, and I felt an incredible sense of pride and an extra rush of adrenaline having the knowledge that I was benefiting my homeland. It was a thrill to answer the questions of curious runners along the way who saw me proudly wearing the “Running for Israel” jersey, as we jogged the 26.2 mile course.

---David Landis; San Diego Marathon

This year I participated in the Toronto International Marathon as a member of the Running for Israel team. While running marathons for me is not a new endeavor this being my 8th marathon this was my first experience running for Israel. Veteran runners like myself start to feel that all the preparation and training while valuable for personal reasons pales in comparison to working toward a humanitarian goal. Running for Israel was wise in selecting 4 charities that makes a broad humanitarian contribution to Israel as a country and society. The Canadian Jewish News assisted with a feature article helping me raise pledges for my chai contribution of $1800.

On October 15, 2005 proudly wearing the Running for Israel t-shirt I ran the Toronto marathon with over $3000 in pledges. I found the running a little easier with a tale wind at my back and finished in a time of 3hr45min. Perhaps a larger force was assisting my efforts. Congratulations were received from family and friends and I am already planning for next years New York Marathon as a member of Running for Israel.

--Alan Vinegar; Toronto Marathon