A record number of Jewish charities benefited from Sunday’s Maccabi GB Community Fun Run, which saw people of all ages take to the tracks.
Almost 100 organisations were represented by over 6,500 participants running and walking – and, in some cases, being wheeled round - the one, five and 10km circuits at StoneX Stadium in Mill Hill.
Spanning the generations were Holocaust survivor, Lily Ebert, 99 and her great-grandson, Dov Forman, who went round the 1km circuit.
Pushed in a wheelchair by Forman for most of the course, Ebert walked the last 100m to cheers from the crowds.
She told the JC: “It was a special experience to participate in the incredible Maccabi GB Fun Run, together with my great grandson Dov.”
“Witnessing fellow Holocaust survivors and over 6000 community members uniting for charity was so inspiring.”
Forman, who was taking part with his great-grandmother for the first time, said afterwards: “As we were walking round, I was pointing out all the people who were cheering her on. Lots of people also came up to talk to her, which really lightened her day.”
Ebert and Forman also spent time in the charity tent, thanking charities, such as Jewish Care and Hatzola, for their support. Ebert said that the Fun Run “should remind us to always extend a helping hand to those in need and support charitable causes.”
Among others taking part was the Grubin-Brookes family from Hendon, who was raising money for Chana, the fertility support charity, by walking 5km.
Mum Eve said: “It was hot, but if you weren’t running the whole time, it was very pleasant.”
Her two boys, Zecharya, 11 and Azriel, seven, “loved it”, she said.
Her husband Stewart added: “What was great was that there were no phones or any other distractions, so I was able to talk to my son for an hour and a half.”
Running the 1k was Raziel Cohen, six, from Edgware, who told the JC: “I went very fast. It was good.”
His 11-year-old brother, Michael, who ran the 5km with four friends, had used an app to help him train. “The race was fine, although I was hot and sweaty”, he said afterwards.
Running alongside their sister, Shira, 13, the siblings raised £250 for Jewish Blind and Disabled. Their dad, Yossi, told the JC: “It feels good that the kids have raised this much money. They had a fun time, it’s laid-back and they always seem to get good weather.”
Kisharon, which supports children and adults with learning difficulties, celebrated 30 of their clients taking part with the aid of support workers. “They come every year and absolutely love taking part”, said a spokeperson.
More than 100 runners took part on behalf of Chai Cancer Care, raising over £10,000 for the charity.
Lucy Hayim, Chai’s community and corporate fundraiser, said: “We were blown away by all our runners. A huge thank you for braving the heat and supporting Chai in this way.”
Maccabi GB CEO Ashley Lerner hailed the Fun Run “a roaring success,” telling the JC:“Families from across the community came together and had a fantastic day.”
While some participants were keen to make their personal bests, Lerner said that “the real reason for the day was for the community to support the community.”