Lily Ebert leads the way on a day celebrating us at our best

The JC Leader, 30 June 2023

June 29, 2023 11:30

Good news is hard to find at the moment. The cost- of-living crisis is getting worse, and the war in Ukraine grinds on. It’s easy to feel despair at the state of politics, domestic and international.

But in our community, this weekend gave us a real reason to smile. Even though the weather was roasting hot, the annual Maccabi fun run attracted 6,500 people of all ages, ready to run, walk, hop, skip or be wheeled around the course to raise money for a vast range of Jewish charities.

The biggest smile of all was on the face of 99-year-old Lily Ebert, the Holocaust survivor who for many has come to represent the indomitable spirit of our people. Lily was cheered on by the crowds as her great-grandson Dov pushed her wheelchair — and the cheers were even louder for the last 100 metres, which she insisted on completing on foot.

Survivors such as Lily display an energy and enthusiasm for life rooted in their determination not to be defeated by the terrible experiences of their childhoods. The late Ben Helfgott also exemplified this approach. This zest for life is the best riposte to those who set out to exterminate the Jewish people.

More than 100 charities are better off because of the efforts of the fun runners. The organisers and everyone who took part can feel proud — and let’s all remember to inject some of the joy and positivity of the occasion into everything we do for the rest of the year.

June 29, 2023 11:30

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