Recently in Israel, nearly 6,000 runners of all ages, abilities, and even breeds (dog breeds, that is) took to the streets of Haifa to support a Holocaust survivor’s rights organization. The Fellowship donated money to the group for each lap each participant in Go for a Run Haifa made around the 2-kilometer (roughly 1.24-mile) course.
The run was non-competitive and open to all participants – elite athletes, toddlers, elderly, soldiers, families with infants, and runners with their dogs. Once all the laps were tallied, The Fellowship contributed $20,000 to the Center for the Utilization of Holocaust Survivor’s Rights in Haifa.
Yona Yahav, the mayor of Haifa, sent the following thank-you letter to The Fellowship.
Last Friday I was very excited. Thousands of people of all ages got up and went running.
They didn't run for the results or to receive a reward, and yet, there was motivation and happiness on their faces that one doesn't see every day. . . . I was particularly excited to see diverse groups of participants who are not usually seen at other more routine sporting events.
For example, groups of toddlers with their parents. There were groups of elderly people from nursing homes who came to walk in order to show empathy and to donate to other elderly who are less fortunate. There was a group of disabled people from the Etgarim organization and their escorts (over 50) who told me with tears how exciting the event is for them, that for the first time they feel equal to everyone and are making an effort to contribute to others and not to be on the receiving end for a change.
Groups of students from Arab, Druze, Christian, and Bahai schools all took part in our course of fraternity and giving for a common goal – to accumulate as many miles as possible so that The Fellowship would contribute as much as possible to the important projects selected. . . .
I would like to thank Rabbi Eckstein and The Fellowship for its contribution to the Haifa Municipality in general and for the important partnership in the "Go for a Run" event in particular, which has become a longstanding tradition and one of the flagship events of the city of Haifa.
I have received hundreds of moving letters of thanks from residents following the event. This attests to the connection and importance that the residents of the region ascribe to this event. It's my wish that the partnership between Haifa and The Fellowship in "Go for a Run" and other projects will grow each year.