What better way can there be to escape Chicago’s freezing winters and to bask in the Florida sun while helping to raise funds for Special Needs children and adults through the Orthodox Union’s Yachad program, than to be part of Team Yachad competing in the ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon, Sunday, January 27, 2013.
This will be the fourth consecutive year that Team Yachad is competing. Of the 163 runners who have already registered with Team Yachad, amazingly, 16 of them, ages 16-47, are from Chicago, Lincolnwood, and Skokie. Chicago Yachad has grown by leaps and bounds over the last eight years under the leadership of Efrem Popel, Chapter Director, and Chaim Suss, Chairman, Chicago Yachad Board.
Yachad/NJCD, an agency of the Orthodox Union, is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the life opportunities of individuals with disabilities, ensuring their participation in the full spectrum of Jewish life. Yachad/NJCD promotes Inclusion for these individuals through various integrated activities, such as regularly scheduled weekend getaways in different communities, called Shabbatons, relationship building programs and summer activities. Chicago Yachad has announced an expanded array of programming this year.
Miami race participants can run, walk or jog; it is also possible to sponsor Team Yachad or an individual runner.
Registration is underway on the Team Yachad website, www.TeamYachad.com.
Each participant commits to raising $3,000 for Yachad/NJCD. By committing to the mission, runners raise much-needed funds which allow Yachad to continue the vital work it does to promote Inclusion for those living with disabilities within the broad Jewish community. In return, Yachad provides roundtrip airfare to Miami; hotel accommodations; a personalized training regimen offered by three certified trainers; official Team Yachad race gear; guaranteed race admission; a pre-race pasta party and post-race BBQ; and an unforgettable Yachad Shabbaton at the beautiful Marco Polo Beach Resort.
Yachad Assistant Director Eli Hagler, who will be running with Team Yachad for his second year, said, “Team Yachad has quickly taken on a life of its own with the size of the team growing each year. We have had delegations from the Chicago area for the first three years, each time larger than the year before, and now we are looking forward to seeing even more Chicagoans participating or in a sponsoring position. Team Yachad will also be running in the Jerusalem Marathon on March 1, 2013 and already more than 10 Chicagoans have signed up for that race as well.”
Vicki Ross of Chicago, 47, who ran with Team Yachad in January 2012, declared, “I decided to sign up for the Team Yachad ING Half Marathon in Miami because I care about and support an organization that strives to include individuals with disabilities into the greater Jewish Community. In January 2012, close to 200 people gathered together for a wonderful Shabbat preceding Race Day when 135 Yachad runners from various states participated in the Full and Half Marathon.” Vicki has already registered to run again with Team Yachad in January 2013.
She continued, “Sunday morning, at the Marathon, the crowd of an estimated 100,000 people watched Team Yachad’s mission come true when a wheelchair-bound Team Yachad member crossed the finish line along with 134 of his Team Yachad teammates! That sight, no doubt, will remain with everyone for a very long time!”
For more information and to register as a Team Yachad participant visit www.TeamYachad.com.
OU | Enhancing Jewish Life