Sunday, April 05, 2020

A sunny and temperate start to the day on Sunday, June 2, provided ideal conditions for the JFS of Central NJ 5K run held in Oak Ridge Park in Clark, New Jersey. Heidi Pekarsky, marketing and development director for the JFS Central New Jersey region, expressed special appreciation on behalf of JFS to the five participating groups from Union County.

“Over $48,000 was raised by a community who came out in full force for a morning of fun, fitness and philanthropy,” Pekarsky said.

Four local shuls were represented in the 5K race, and Pekarsky also made a point to thank the five teams who inspired their respective shul and organization’s members to support the JFS 5K teams.

Running for Congregation Israel of Springfield, Ben Rosenwein finished first overall with a time of 21:03, and Joseph Mason representing the Elmora Avenue Synagogue placed second at 22:17. Mason also serves on the JFSCNJ board.

Team AI (Adath Israel) of Hillside-Elizabeth repeated their success of the past, sending a team of runners who placed in age and overall categories. Raphael Karin finished fifth overall/fourth in his age group, with a time of 23:53. Eight-year-old Zev Rosen finished an amazing 11th overall in the field of 91 runners, and first in his age group of 4-12 year olds, with a time of 26:45. Ari Rockoff finished 10th overall and first in his age group, just 5 seconds ahead of young Rosen. Steve Rosen, proud father of Zev, finished 17th overall, and third in his age group, with a time of 29:18.

Participating shuls were Adath Israel of Elizabeth-Hillside, Congregation Beth Israel of Scotch Plains, Congregation Israel of Springfield and the Elmora Avenue Shul of Elizabeth, complemented by Team RSVP, the retired and senior volunteer program.

While all of the donation statistics were not available, Team AI reported that their team raised over $4,200 in sponsorships for JFS.

Funds raised for JFS provide support for their food pantry; social services for families, children and seniors; the Westfield Youth Volunteer Services program; Café Europa: social programs for Holocaust survivors; Alzheimer’s and related dementia disorders support programs; caregiver support services; emergency financial assistance; geriatric psychiatric outreach; respite care and numerous other essential community service programs.

The event was chaired by Gerri Rothfleisch. The event is part of a multi-charity race sponsored by Generosityseries.com.

If you missed the race, you still haven’t missed your chance to participate. You can donate to JFS of Central NJ on the special website for this event. The website will be up for another two weeks: jfscentralnj.org/run4jfs.