Inspiring marathon runners in show of unity against terror
161 runners, including bereaved, injured and supporters around the world take part in fifth Jerusalem marathon
(JERUSALEM, Israel – March 10 2015) OneFamily (www.onefamilytogether.org), Israel’s leading national organization rebuilding the lives of Israel’s injured and bereaved victims of terror and war has 161 runners taking part in Jerusalem’s marathon on Friday (13 March). The inspiring runners – many of whom have been injured or lost loved ones in attacks and war – will be joined by OneFamily founder Marc Belzberg and supporters of Israel around the world who are running to unite against terror.
Representing OneFamily will be Aharon Karov, who as a newlywed commander of 30 soldiers in Operation Cast Led in 2008 was left critically injured after a booby trap was tripped in a sweep of buildings. Aharon is taking on the challenge after recovering from the blast which left him close to death with eight pieces of shrapnel in his head, all his teeth knocked out, his nose dislodged, his left eye dismembered, and his stomach and upper left side of his body crushed. He is running for the organization which helped him and his family cope with the emotional ordeal.
Aharon comments: “In every difficulty from large to small, one should look upward, take time to breathe, and maintain a constant state of development. Part of my development has been with OneFamily, giving me an opportunity to give strength to others while strengthening myself and those around me.”
Other inspiring runners include Chanan Haim, 27, of Jerusalem. His father, Yehuda, 47, was killed on the date of Chanan’s 16th birthday –22 Februrary 2004. Yehuda was one of eight who lost his life and more than 60 wounded by a Palestinian suicide bomber on an Egged bus opposite the capital’s Liberty Bell Park. “I remember that day not only for having lost my father but because it occurred on my 16th birthday” says Chanan. “My relatives came to my school to inform me that my father was not reachable, that he was nowhere to be found. We went home at the end of the day and soon after were informed that he was killed.
“The transition into OneFamily happened very quickly. It wasn’t just me, but rather my younger brother who at the time was 10 and I was 16. We attended the youth division and from there on everything is history. It helped me reach emotional places you never dream of, especially as a 16 year old. There was a sense of unity with everyone there.”
Sarah Baila Gordon, 19, from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, is running her first 10k in her memory of her brother David, an IDF soldier, who served in Operation Protective Edge. She is looking to raise $500 for OneFamily.
She says: “I have chosen to run for OneFamily because I want to be part of an incredible organization which offers so much help and support for victims of terror in Israel. I am running in memory of my brother David, a victim of terror, who was a true hero. He was a warrior who fought for what he believed in, for the country that he loved. I am proud of my brother, proud of the work this organization does, and proud to be part of Team OneFamily.”
Other runners include Oren Hubara running in memory of his sister, Odelia Hubara, 26, who was one of five people killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Stage Club on the Tel Aviv promenade 10 years ago in February 2005. Yehuda Lebovitch is running in memory of his brother, Elazar Lebovitch, an IDF soldier who was killed aged 21, in a shooting attack south of Hebron in July 2002.
Yossi Stiegler, 47, is running with five of his children for On Family. Though he suffered the loss of a son in a car accident – Stiegler empathises with those who have suffered loss in terror attacks in Israel. “It is about running together in an amazing race to overcome terror and support those whose lives have had to be rebuilt.”
Marc Belzberg founder of OneFamily said: “In Jerusalem, we don’t just run, we run for a cause. Over the last 12 years OneFamily has raised and distributed over $43.0 Million dollars to thousands of families, providing financial assistance, upgraded medical care, psychological treatments, legal help, support groups and healing retreats to bond and learn from others, who are going through exactly the same circumstances. OneFamily spends a third of its budget, on camps and programs for over a thousand children, bereaved and wounded.
“Though the marathon helps bring in much-needed funds it is equally powerful as a source of inspiration for those suffering from terror, as they are joined from people of all backgrounds and countries in a show of unity against terror. Together we can change the future of so many young and old people, whose lives have been totally shattered by terror.”
For more information, pictures or to speak to any of our runners please contact Jonathan Marciano, 058 6135342 Jonathan@onefamilyfund.org
NOTES TO EDITORS
OneFamily is the family of Israel’s victims of terror attacks – those who have been bereaved, maimed and suffering from post-trauma as a result of terrorist attacks since 2001. We are the premier national organization that rehabilitates, reintegrates and rebuilds the lives of Israel’s thousands of victims of terror attacks. OneFamily is a unique family of professionals, volunteers, supporters and victims – bereaved, maimed and traumatized – young and old – Jews and non-Jews.