Run for a Meaningful Cause, Have a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

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02 Aug 2012

Each year, Team Yachad runs the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon to raise money for their cause: addressing the needs of all individuals with disabilities and including them in the Jewish community. You can register as a runner or sign up to sponsor a runner. You may find that you receive more than you give.

Let’s take a quick look at Team Yachad in ING the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon through the years:

2010 – 29 Runners
2011- 77 Runners
2012 – 135 Runners

With the amount of participants growing by leaps and bounds, the number of runners who will partake in 2013’s Marathon is anyone’s guess. But listen to a runner speak about his or her past experience with Team Yachad and you’ll realize: It’s no wonder the group keeps expanding.

Beth Gindi; Los Angeles, CA.

I feel I have done many amazing things in my life–I have been to Africa and I have seen the sun rise over the Sahara. I have been to Venice, Italy and I have seen the setting sun over the canals. I watched my family grow closer together after my grandfather passed away. I went on a cruise to Alaska and I saw the icebergs before they melted. I went on NCSY Give two summers ago and volunteered all over Israel, I went on Yad b’Yad this past summer and spent my entire summer becoming friends with Yachad members. I am on the Yachad board in Los Angeles and I have seen many people grow through Yachad and its programming. But I have NEVER done anything like the Half Marathon.

There is something about waking up at 3:30 in the morning and driving to the race after an amazingly inspirational Shabbat, after months and months of training and fundraising. There is something about running for something that you love, something that inspires you, something that has given you more than you could have ever hoped for. Yachad has changed my life in so many ways, I cannot even count, and this marathon was an amazing way for me to give back.

Crossing the finish line was the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced! I had just run 13.1 miles, and yet, crossing that finish line, I was not tired, because I knew that I had done something amazing for Yachad. Of course, the tired and the sore set in after, but it was totally worth it, and I would not trade this experience for anything!

Jackie Schlanger; Teaneck, NJ

I joined Team Yachad as a way of acknowledging my gratitude and to give back to an extraordinary organization that we have benefited from. My daughter, Tamar, has been a Yachad member for over 15 years. For once, instead of getting, I was in a position to give-to give thanks to Yachad, to give recognition to the organization and its extraordinary staff and volunteers, and to raise awareness of the vital work and services it provides to the community.  Little did I anticipate that once again I would be receiving more than I gave.

Spending the pre-race weekend with the rest of  Team Yachad, supporters and some of the Yachad staff and board members, I was treated to an exhilarating  and uplifting experience. The infectious enthusiasm and commitment that I saw in my fellow team members showed that “Kulanu B’Yachad” is more than a slogan. The encouragement everyone gave to their fellow runners and Yachad members who attended–many of whom were runners too–showed that the message is more than just a slogan, but it is a way of life.

On Race Day, at milepost 11, Yachad members and supporters manned a water station. Just the sight of them gave a lift and reminded me why we were running: not just for the accomplishment of a job well done but to show everyone that Yachad members can participate in life’s daily activities in all of it’s forms. Runners, spectators and other volunteers could also see and experience firsthand the message of inclusion that Yachad has been spreading for all of these years. The race was a microcosm of what our Yachad members go through every day as they face life’s challenges and meet them with the support and encouragement of others.

Join us in supporting people with disabilities. Each year Yachad raises money for people with disabilities through sponsored runners in the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon on January 27, 2013 and the Jerusalem Marathon on March 1, 2013. Register to run or sponsor a runner at

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.