Monday, February 17, 2020

Annual event is scheduled for Sunday, April 30, at Buccleuch Park.

New Brunswick—Registration and sponsorship opportunities for the Ezra Schwartz Memorial FIT 5K Run/Walk and One Mile Fun Run/Walk to be held Sunday, April 30, are now open for students, businesses and the general community. Net proceeds benefit the Rutgers Hillel Center for Israel Engagement (RHCIE).

The event is named to honor the memory of Ezra Schwartz, accepted to the Rutgers class of 2020, who was murdered in 2015 by Palestinian terrorists while spending a gap year in Israel.

Since its inception in 2011, the FIT 5K has raised approximately $125,000 in support of Israel engagement, education and advocacy programs at Rutgers University Hillel. The event is open to all ages and is held, rain or shine, in Buccleuch Park, New Brunswick.

According to co-chairs Dr. Richard and Jennifer Bullock, and Eliot and Barbara Spack, all of Edison, RHCIE is a national model for campus education and advocacy. Driven by a core belief that a positive connection to Israel is essential for a strong, healthy Jewish identity, RHCIE focuses on enhancing student understanding of the Israeli spirit, contributions and people.

Jewish Agency Israel Fellow Aviv Ayash said RHCIE has mobilized students to broaden their understanding of Israel and its people through positive encounters with visiting Israelis, artists, businessmen and academicians.

Andrew Getraer, Rutgers Hillel Executive Director, said “the Center’s focus on creative programming, rather than on confrontations with anti-Israel groups, puts a very human face on the Jewish homeland, for all students.”

The FIT 5K was introduced in 2011, said Co-Chair Jennifer Bullock, herself a serious runner, “to provide participants with an opportunity to both support Israel and fulfill the mitzvah of Shomer ha Guf (taking care of one’s body), while having a great time with a lot of terrific people.”

In addition to the Bullocks, Ezra Schwartz Memorial FIT 5K Organizing Committee members include David and Susan Lemerman, Marty and Judy Slutsky and Aviv Ayash.

Participation in the 5K run/walk division or the one-mile fun run/walk is open to students and all members of the community. Awards will be presented to the top three men and women in each age group, in five-year-increments, up to 85. Participants may register and arrange sponsorships online at www.rutgershillel.org/fit5k or www.bstrace.com/newbrunswick/fit5k.

According to Bullock, the registration fee for community members is $25 prior to April 14, and $30 thereafter. Students may register for $10 prior to April 14 and $15 thereafter.

Tax-deductible sponsorship opportunities include: $10,000, event sponsor; $1,800, benefactor; $1,000, start line; $500, finish line; $250, water station; $180, snack table; $100, t-shirt sponsor; and $54, contributor. All sponsorships of $100 or more will be listed on commemorative t-shirts.

Further information may be obtained by contacting Jennifer Bullock at [email protected] or 908-510-4005.