EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey – Over 200 athletes from across the tri-state area recently participated in the first Orthodox Union’s (OU) Yachad triathlon at the American Dream mall. The event was designed to raise awareness and funds for the group’s IVDU school network, the formal educational arm of the leading organization for Jewish individuals with disabilities.
The professionally designed triathlon course included a distance run through the mall mapped out by Dan Brennan, the official course measurer for the New York City Marathon. The biking element took place on stationary bikes and the swim component took place in the mall’s DreamWorks Water Park. Timing was tracked by the Barwick Group.
“Every year our students look forward and train to join our annual marathon team. It prepares them with valuable life skills, keeps them physically active and rewards them both with a sense of internal satisfaction and the feeling of camaraderie that simply couldn’t be recreated without a similar experience,” said IVDU’s Head of School Rabbi Michoel Druin. “With the pandemic’s impact cancelling many marathons and similar events, our admin team came together and recreated so much of the experience the marathon team normally generates, and the end result was a phenomenal event for our students and friends.”
For the last decade, IVDU’s students have gained critical life lessons, like teamwork, dedication, commitment, and discipline from joining together and participating in marathons.
The Marilyn and Sheldon David IVDU Boys and Girls Upper Schools are schools for Orthodox Jewish individuals with disabilities. Encouraged by warm and caring staff, the students of IVDU learn they can thrive despite their challenges and develop new skills and friendships that will help them be successful in life during and after high school.
Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union, (OU), serves as the voice of American Orthodox Jewry, with over 400 congregations in its synagogue network. As the umbrella organization for American Orthodox Jewry, the OU is at the forefront of advocacy work on both state and federal levels, outreach to Jewish teens and young professionals through NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Yachad and OU Press, among many other divisions and programs.
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