The London Marathon: Jewish causes are the winners

By Robyn Rosen, April 29, 2010
Enjoying the fast: Kisharon’s Raphael Cooper was one of the quickest

Enjoying the fast: Kisharon’s Raphael Cooper was one of the quickest

Jewish participants in the London Marathon have raised more than £400,000 for charitable causes.

Ort is the biggest beneficiary, raking in £105,000 from a group of South African runners who completed the 26.2 mile course on Sunday.

They were joined by ex-Royal Marine Tom Carver from Hendon, who was almost left to fly the flag alone because of the South Africans' travel problems in the wake of the flight disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud.

Ort South Africa national director Brad Rosmarin said the money would go towards the charity's business mentoring programme in South Africa - and to children orphaned by or living with HIV.

"Running is an individual sport but here was a team spirit the likes of which I had never experienced before," he said.

Twenty-six Norwood runners raised around £100,000. Among them was Daniel Mitchell, 23, from Edgware, who raised £2,700, to "give something back" to the family charity.

High of the tiger: Friends of Conservation supporter Paul Goldstein finished in six hours, having run in a 15-kilo steel Bengal tiger costume

High of the tiger: Friends of Conservation supporter Paul Goldstein finished in six hours, having run in a 15-kilo steel Bengal tiger costume

"Norwood helped me out when I was younger. I had some family issues and Norwood came to the rescue and offered me counselling. I wanted other children to have the chance to receive the help that my siblings and I had."

Finishing her 21st marathon, Edgware great-grandmother Flora Frank, 66, raised £12,000 to be split between Norwood and Emunah. "At one point, some people recognised me and all started chanting my name," she said. "It was an amazing boost."

Norwood head of challenges Ian Tate said the money "will enable us to continue providing more than 120 ground-breaking services which help 7,000 adults, children and families to change their lives and fulfil their potential each year".

At three hours five minutes, the fastest time was recorded by Emunah supporter Avigdor Book, a Lancashire-born rabbi's son now living in Modi'in. Because of the flight restrictions, the 34-year-old only arrived in London on Friday, but his time placed him in the top four per cent of the 37,000 finishers.

Special needs charity Kisharon generated £27,000 from its runners, medical student Raphael Cooper, 26, leading the way in three hours 28 minutes.

The Hendon resident lives close to Kisharon premises and has his bicycle repaired at the charity's Bus Stop Bikes. "It was fantastic and the crowd were phenomenal," he said. "I began to find it difficult from the half-way point but I fought through to the finish. Hearing friends and family calling out my name gave me a real boost."

Added Kisharon chief executive Beverley Jacobson: "As someone who has run the marathon in previous years, I understand the huge sacrifice that goes into training and preparing for the race. We truly appreciate their efforts and will put the money to good use, helping children and adults with learning difficulties."

Camp Simcha, helping children with serious illnesses, raised over £35,000 from its five participants. Ray Gurvitz brought in £24,000 for Camp Simcha and Magen David Adom, running in memory of Malcolm Jacobs, who died last year from cancer.

"I feel extremely privileged to have known Malcolm, who was an absolute gentleman," he said. "He was an inspiration to everyone who was fortunate enough to have met him and this world is a poorer place without him."

Neville Goldschneider, executive director of Camp Simcha, said that "£35,000 goes a very long way to helping our families that have children coping with life-threatening illnesses. We greatly appreciate it."

Almost £20,000 was earned by Jewish Care's team of six and the World Jewish Relief runners included 18-year-old Hasmonean pupil Aron White, who raised £3,000 and finished in a respectable four hours 23 minutes.

"The last mile was amazing," he said. "The crowd gave me such a buzz. I've seen the sort of work WJR do and feel a real connection to it."

A father-and-son team from Hampstead Garden Suburb completed the race within a second of each other.

Estate agent Jonathan Barr, 50, ran for disabled children's charity, Kids. Eighteen-year-old Sam took part for Myeloma UK to support his grandmother, who is a myeloma sufferer.

"We both had a bit of pain but we kept pushing each other on," Mr Barr said. "It was a great educational experience for my son to learn to give back and also to realise he can achieve anything he puts his mind to."

Surbiton GP Martin Wolfson ran to belatedly celebrate his 60th birthday and to encourage others to exercise. "I did it 28 years ago and I decided I would never do it again," he recalled. "On Sunday, I remembered why I had said that. The last few miles were so painful. I was determined not to walk it and managed to run the whole thing."

Dr Wolfson raised £6,000 for the Princess Alice Hospice, in memory of a friend who died there.

Neil Clarke, 25, from Reading, raised £1,000 for Leeds Jewish Welfare Board. "I needed a challenge and it was definitely that," he said. "I found it tough and can't really walk now."

Last updated: 9:07am, May 5 2010