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Media Release

Tracia Collichio
Public Relations
Running for Israel
Phone: 212.579.1388 ext. 20
FAX: 212.579.1387


One Race, One Rabbi, One Million Dollars

Rabbi Eric Ertel will run in his first New York City Marathon to raise one million dollars for The State of Israel.

New York City, New York July 26, 2004 – A Rabbi, an activist, an educator and an athlete, Rabbi Eric Ertel announced today that he will be running in his very first ING New York City Marathon on Sunday November 7th. Armed with only a relentless drive and equal determination to raise one million dollars for peace in The State of Israel.

When asked why he chose the ING New York City Marathon, Eric responded, “Each of us has our own talents and skills that can be used to help make a difference, running this race is my talent and skill. Helping Israel would be my little contribution in trying to help the world.”

The greatest thing that the United States shares with Israel is the war against terrorism; the only difference is that Israel battles this war on their streets every single day. Eric spent seven years living in Israel and experienced the devastation and destruction of these terror attacks, first hand. He watched the Israeli citizen’s quality of life and sense of security deteriorate. In addition to gaining financial support, Eric is committed to creating a broader awareness and support of the challenges facing The State of Israel’s fight for peace.

One of Eric’s greatest passions has always been Israel and the well being of its people. Eric brings that passion and inspiration to this race, because in this race Eric will be “Running For Israel”, with a goal of raising one million dollars from corporate and individual donors. The beneficiaries of his 26.2-mile run are three charities dedicated to improving the image and quality of life for Israeli citizens both locally and globally.

Running for Israel has chosen three very powerful charities to benefit from the funds that are raised. All funds will be distributed between Hasbara Fellowships, Honest Reporting and Keren Y & Y.

About the Charities

University campuses in the United States have become the breeding ground for the violent anti-Israel bias. Hasbara Fellowships was started in 2001 in conjunction with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The program brings hundreds of students to Israel every year, giving them the information and the tools to return to their campuses as leaders in the fight for Israel’s image.

In addition to fighting an anti-terror war, Israel has been fighting a media war. Honest Reporting is one of the worlds largest media watch groups and has assembled over 100,000 members to scrutinize the media for anti-Israel bias, and responds directly to relevant news agencies.

The severe cuts in government support and the sharp rise in the price of basic foods has made it extremely difficult for many families in Israel. Keren Y & Y gives ‘cash’ in the form of coupons, which ensures that all contributions, go directly into the homes of needy families. These cash coupons are redeemable at local supermarkets.

“One day there will be peace in Israel and on that day everyone who contributes, even in the smallest of ways, will be able to look back and know that they had something to do with that,” said Rabbi Ertel. “I’m just an ordinary guy, who’s trying to accomplish an extra-ordinary thing.”

Individuals will be able to contribute on-line at, which will provide information about the charities and volunteer opportunities. Donations can also be mailed to Running For Israel, 313 West 83rd Street, New York, NY 10024. Corporate donations and interested partners are asked to please contact Tracia Collichio, Running For Israel at 212.579.1388 ext 20.

Running for Israel is supported by Aish HaTorah a non-profit, apolitical, international network of Jewish educational centers, providing opportunities for Jews of all backgrounds to discover the wisdom and beauty of their heritage in an atmosphere of open inquiry and mutual respect. Over 25 branches in 8 countries inspire over 100,000 people each year with the meaning of being Jewish.