London Marathon runners achieve their mission of raising thousands for charity

Many Jewish charities were represented at the race


Adam Driver and Olivia Fox, who ran for Jami, which provides mental health support for the community (Photo: Jami)

Runners for Jewish charities were out in force on Sunday, raising thousands of pounds for their chosen cause.

Twenty-eight runners raised a staggering £90,000 for Norwood, with some taking part for the first time.

Uriel Levi ran his first ever marathon, finishing in just over three and a half hours.

Having set himself a target of £2,500, Uriel managed to raise more, saying his aim was “to raise as much money as he could to help as many people as possible”.

Runner Robert Goldstein travelled from the US to run the London marathon for Norwood, finishing in just under four and a half hours.

Mellissa Oliver said she chose to run for Norwood, because it “has made a significant impact on the lives of some of my loved ones, and I want to pay it forward by hitting or surpassing my £2,000 target”. Mellissa raised £2,316 for the charity, finishing in three hours and forty-four minutes.

Gary Nortman ran because Norwood has supported his neurodiverse child. He said: “I can’t even begin to explain how hard life can be sometimes. But thanks to Norwood, we have learnt skills to navigate conversations and life with a neurodiverse child trying to live in a world that doesn’t make sense to them.”

He said the London marathon was the “biggest challenge I have ever set myself” and finished in just over five and a quarter hours, raising close to £3,000.

Gabbie Fried chose to run for Norwood in memory of her late cousin Katianne who was “born with multiple disabilities but lived her life to the fullest”, she said. “She’d be so excited if she could see me run a marathon. She was a fantastic cheerleader.”

Charlie Horne ran the marathon in memory of his late cousin Natasha, who was supported by Norwood and passed away in November 2022.

Natasha was born with moderate learning disabilities, with her condition becoming progressively worse, and was then diagnosed with the degenerative brain disease BPAN in 2014.

Charlie said: “Natasha’s care that she received at Norwood was nothing short of extraordinary…This marathon is not a run. It’s a tribute to Natasha’s resilience and a testament to the love and care provided by Norwood.”

He decided to run his first marathon in November 2023 to help process his grief. Charlie raised over £10,661 and finished in just under six hours.

Runner Lee Platt also far exceeded his fundraising target of £5,000, raising £8,978 for Norwood.

Supporters of Jewish Care and Jami also showed their dedication to the organisations by taking part in the London marathon.

Runners for the recently merged charities raised an impressive £21,285. Joshua Carmel-Brown from South Woodford completed the marathon, raising £4,000.

He said: “Running a marathon was one of the toughest challenged I have ever had to overcome, but it was an incredible experience, and the atmosphere was amazing. I’m so proud of myself for how far I’ve come since my knee surgery and running for an incredible charity like Jewish Care made it all worth it.”

He said it was his close connections with Jewish Care across four generations that motivated him. Josh said: “My great-grandparents were cared for at Jewish Care’s Vi and John Ruben’s House care home and I have seen first hand the importance of the services Jewish Care provides.

“In 2020, when the pandemic hit, I spent some time volunteering at Anita Dorfman House care home at Sandringham and was inspired by the employees and volunteers who worked tirelessly to support Jewish families, and who continue to do so.”

The 22-year-old previously ran the London Royal Parks Half Marathon in 2018 alongside his dad, Jewish Care’s CEO Daniel Carmel-Brown, who ran the London Marathon in 2017.

Jamie Steinberg from London took part for the first time after his friend unfortunately had to pull out of the race. He said: “I have picked up the baton and completed this marathon at the last minute for this wonderful charity.”

His grandpa, Martin Steinberg, is a resident at Jewish Care’s Otto Schiff care home in Golders Green. He said: “My grandpa has been unwell for a long time and for the last four years has been in the care of one of their incredible homes. We can't express how grateful we are to this amazing charity, and it was a pleasure to run this marathon in support of Jewish Care.”

Running for Jami, which has recently integrated with Jewish Care, was Victoria Caplin, who found a passion for running over the last few years and noticed an improvement to her mental health since starting her running journey. “I have struggled with my own mental health and understand the profound impact of feeling isolated by one's thoughts,” she said.

“The mere thought of seeking support once filled me with shame and hesitation, despite knowing its potential benefits. However, through running, I have made great connections, and it has provided me with the time and space to quiet the turbulence within my thoughts and emotions, offering a sanctuary for inner calm and personal growth.”

Marathon runner Daisy Coutts said running the London Marathon had been on her bucket list for some time. She said: “Providing mental health support is so important, especially at a time when the NHS is so overstretched and can’t meet everyone’s needs. I am very pleased that people in the Jewish community, who are struggling with their mental health, can instead turn to Jami for help. I think it’s an amazing charity doing amazing work.”

Sam Seitler, who ran the race for the first time for World Jewish Relief, was pleased to complete it in under four hours.

He said: “It was an amazing day. The sun and sights of London were brilliant and all the people cheering you on is quite emotional at times.” He was kept going by friends and family scattered throughout the route to call out words of encouragement.

Michael Garcia, 46, runs an IT business in Borehamwood and ran his third and fastest London marathon at just over three hours.

Michael ran for Rays of Sunshine, a charity that helps support families with sick children.

He also took part wearing a run for their lives/bring them home t-shirt to draw attention to the plight of the hostages taken by Hamas on October 7. “I saw one group waving an Israeli flag and I gave them a cheer and they gave me a cheer,” he said.

Camp Simcha’s three marathon runners raised around £16,000 for the charity and all completed the course in under four hours.

Money will support the charity’s work supporting families with seriously ill children.

Charles Braunstein, whose wife used to volunteer for Camp Simcha, was running his second marathon and finished in just over three and a half hours, despite his training being limited by a pre-marathon injury.

He said: “It was a great experience although very challenging, but it was great to run - especially for a charity like Camp Simcha. The Jewish community has been going through tough times since October 7th, so I felt proud to represent a Jewish charity on the streets of London.”

Netanel Rosen, who also ran for Camp Simcha in 2023, beat last years’ time, finishing in three hours 42 minutes.

He said: “I chose to run for Camp Simcha again because I wanted to raise funds to help them continue their tireless and crucial work in supporting so many families and individuals. The atmosphere was incredible. Despite knee issues in the second half, I knew I had to finish and did. The marathon experience is life changing."

Aaron Deitsch flew in from New York to run for Camp Simcha – completing the marathon in 3 hours and 50 minutes before jetting back home for Pesach.

He said: “I am thrilled to have been able to run the London Marathon as part of team Camp Simcha. I have close family who have been directly impacted by serious medical conditions and have received incredible support for themselves and their families.

“This is my second marathon; my first was New York in November of last year and now I've been bitten by the running bug.”

Several runners raised over £26,000 for Kisharon Langdon, which supports autistic people and those with learning disabilities in the Jewish community.

Clark Norton said afterwards: “I chose to run for Kisharon Langdon because I believe everyone in our community has the right to an amazing education. I had the pleasure of visiting the school and the smiles on the faces of the kids will be an image that helps push me forward.”

Runner Danny Harris, who finished in just under three and a half hours, said: “Running is a big part of my life, offering fitness, clarity, and milestones I’ve enjoyed supporting Kisharon Langdon's mission to help Jewish individuals achieve their potential in an inclusive environment.”

Daniel Rodin said he had chosen to raise funds for Kisharon Langdon as the charity “supports members of our community from childhood to adulthood and is passionate about everything they do”, adding: “In times of need, we can rely on Kisharon Langdon to be there for us.”

Also running for Kisharon Langdon were Yomi Cohen, Naftali Levene and Ollie Lenga, who said that the charity provided a “vital” service to the community in its ability to “educate, empower and enrich”.

Dan Schauer, David Nezri and Mischa Kowall also ran for Kisharon Langdon.

Chai Cancer Care also had a number of participants in the London marathon to raise money for its services which support people going through cancer and their loved ones. Over £20,000 was raised by runners Zak Fraser, Daniel Sunshine, Richard Feingold and Nathaniel Davidson. Emma Levy, who took part in the marathon as part of her 40K for 40, also raised money for breast cancer support charity Future Dreams, together with her husband Jonny.

In the meantime, Joe Joseph, raised money for Cure EB, a research-focused charity, dedicated to finding effective treatments and a cure for all types of Epidermolysis Bullosa, which is sometimes known as the “butterfly” skin disease as its sufferers have such brittle skin.

Joe said he had decided on the charity, which hopes to eventually find a cure for the condition, because “the quality of life of those who have the disease is severely impacted with constant pain and poor prognoses as the fast skin breakdown can lead to skin cancer”.


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