Even though the Miami Marathon did not occur during yeshiva week this year, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a girl in a skirt or a boy wearing a yarmulka every quarter of a mile as I was pushed through the streets of Miami by my Kids of Courage counselors. Our individual fundraising team pushed to reach $20,000 for the zechut and memory of our dear friend and one of KOC’s first campers, Aryeh Rafael Leibish Minzer z”l, who unfortunately passed away the day before we left to embark on our marathon weekend.
If someone were to ask me what the word camaraderie means, I would tell that person to witness the ING marathon. We all start at the same time. We have all gotten up before 4 a.m.. People are doing their final stretches, and then the horn blows. Some start out jogging, others are walking. Even people who are not necessarily Jewish cheer each other on. Regardless, every person participating in the marathon has a common goal. To trek individually, but finish with people and celebrate. Many Miami residents stand outside of cafes, gas stations, or even their own houses that are on the route to cheer on whoever is participating in the event. Runners who are not with an organization are always the first to offer my counselors who are pushing me a helping hand. Then suddenly the differences and competition of organizations slip away with recognition of כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה, whether Kids of Courage was cheered on by team Lifeline members, or team Yachad was cheering on team Friendship.
It was a real kiddush Hashem to be a part of. Not to even mention all of the money that every Jew who participated needed to raise.
I would like to thank the following sponsors who contributed to my fundraising: Chopstix restaurant and Carly’s Craze clothing store.Racheli Herzfeld