The largest Jewish Community event, the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run 2023, returned on Sunday 25th June with over 6,500 members of the community coming together at StoneX Stadium to raise funds for a record breaking 99 participating communal charities.
Members of the community took part in the 10km, 5km, 5km walk on the fields surrounding StoneX Stadium and 1km run on the track. Each run began with official starters, including Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis who started the 1km and Debbie Rose, Commercial Director of The JC who started the 5 & 10km. The official starters were joined by competition winners, with Chai Cancer Care having the most runners signed up before the event and nominated 9-year-old Ollie Grant to start the 10km and 5km alongside Debbie Rose. Ollie took part in the 5km alongside his mum, he said: “I feel inspired by people who run for charity so wanted to try it myself. I am running for Chai as my mum and auntie work there and I know it is a great charity that helps lots of people”.
The Minsky Family, who were the 1,000th family to sign up, nominated Ava (8 years old) and Arielle (6 years old) to start the race alongside Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. Tanya Minsky, mother of Ava and Arielle said: “We are delighted to join in such a fun day which benefits so many charities. It is an honour to run for Leket Israel, which rescues surplus healthy food and delivers it to over 200,000 families in need per week in Israel. This year is even more meaningful as we are raising money in memory of my mother, Agnes Willman Z’’L, whose first Yahrzeit is next week.” Ava and Arielle, along with their younger brother Noah took part in the 1km.
All participants received a Maccabi GB Community Fun Run medal sponsored by Israel Bonds and World Zionist Organisation when they crossed the finish line which was sponsored by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
The Community Sports Day sponsored by Fame Recruitment, was a new element to the event, and brought families together in a fun and competitive manner with a range of sports day favourites, from egg and spoon races to javelin to beat the goalie.
Runners and spectators enjoyed all the free activities in the Family Fun Zone sponsored by JNF UK including, a large selection of inflatables, rock-climbing wall, bungee trampolines, teacups and so much more.
There were dance and singing performances by Vanessa Class School of Dance and the Israeli Dance Institute as well as a football masterclass by football freestyler, Itai Lichtenstein.
On the Piazza, runners and spectators enjoyed the incredible food court, which included a delicious BBQ from Hebrew Order of David, pizza from Piú Gusto, Head Room Café from Jami and Uncle Doovy’s Ice Cream Van.
The Charity Fair, sponsored by the JLC, showcased the incredible work of all the participating charities with many bringing a variety of activities including a balloon artist at the Chana stand, graffiti tops at Chai Cancer Care, a pop-up store at All Aboard, a strength and conditioning gym at CST’s stand, and the Jewish Chronicle sand art that proved extremely popular! Michelle Janes, co-CEO of the JLC said: “Yesterday was an amazing day and outstanding annual moment in our community calendar - the Maccabi GB Fun Run was incredible, and we at the JLC were immensely proud to sponsor the charity fair! It was wonderful to see our fabulous community in action with those from so many generations supporting such a range of important causes. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who made this event a hugely successful!”
A special thanks goes to the sponsors and partner organisations of the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run who helped make this year’s event so successful: the Board of Deputies (Finish Line Sponsor), CST (Security Provider), Dare 2B (Running Number Sponsor), Fame Recruitment (Community Sports Day Sponsor), Hatzola Edgware (Medical Partner), Hebrew Order of David (BBQ Sponsor), Israel Bonds (Medal Sponsor), Jewish Leadership Council (Charity Fair Sponsor), JNF UK (Fun Zone Sponsor), Jewish Volunteering Network (Volunteers Provider), Saracens (Event Sponsor), Squires Estates (T-shirt and wristband Sponsor), World Zionist Organisation (Medal Sponsor) and our exclusive Media Partner The Jewish Chronicle. A thank you also goes to everyone who donated prizes for our amazing raffle.
We would also like to thank all the incredible CST, Hatzola Edgware, JVN and Leadership by Streetwise volunteers, who have secured, supported, and marshalled the event and are integral to the success of the day.
Lily Ebert aged 99 years old, who is a Holocaust survivor took part in the 1k, said: “It was a special experience to participate in the incredible Maccabi GB Fun Run, together with my great grandson Dov. Witnessing fellow Holocaust survivors and over 6,500 community members uniting for charity, under the sun, was so inspiring and interacting with so many young people at the run filled my day with joy. The Community Fun Run should remind us to always extend a helping hand to those in need and support charitable causes. Together, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of others.”
Lily Ebert aged 99 years old, who is a Holocaust survivor took part in the 1k
Rabbi Yossi Simon, of Chabad Golders Green, one of the 99 charities that took part in the event, had the honour of blowing the Shofar to start each race commented, “A beautiful event with an amazing vibe. Such a nice feeling of unity, so many charities and organisations from all parts of the community all together.”
Charlotte Goldstein, Fundraising Coordinator for Kisharon said, “We would like to say a huge thank you to the 45 runners who ran for Kisharon – we are so proud that you collectively raised over £4k! The Maccabi GB Community Fun Run is a key event in the diaries of people supported by Kisharon – it is such an energetic, exciting day and so much fun is always had by all. This year we had runners from both Supported Living and Adult Day Opportunities (Good Days). The Fun Run is a fantastic, inclusive event, which helps us to enable Kisharon’s mission for people with learning disabilities and autism to play an active and valuable role in our community.”
Jonathan Prevezer, Chairman of Maccabi GB commented: “What an incredible day it was, with over 6,500 community members coming together for the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run 2023. It was heartening to witness such a diverse and inclusive gathering, representing a true cross-section of our community. With 99 communal charities benefiting from the funds raised, the event showcased our community's accessibility and commitment to making a difference. From young children to grandparents, veterans, Holocaust survivors, and individuals benefiting from charitable services, the day highlighted the remarkable capabilities and unity within our community."
The event would not have been possible without all the fantastic participating charities: Aims2Cure, AJEX, AJR, AKIM, The Alan Senitt Memorial Trust, All Aboard, Arts Therapies for Children, BBYO, Beit Halochem UK, Board of Deputies of British Jews, British Friends of Rambam Medical Centre, Camp Simcha, Chabad Lubavitch Golders Green, Chai Cancer Care, Chana, Comfort Cases, CST, DKMS, Emunah, FD-UK, FZY, Generation 2 Generation, Gesher School, GIFT, Hatzola Edgware, Hebrew Order of David, HIAS + JCORE, HMH Football Club, Holland Park Synagogue, Israeli Dance Institute, Jami, JAT, JCounselling, Jewish Blind and Disabled, Jewish Care, Jewish Child's Day, Jewish Deaf Association, Jewish Digest, Jewish Family Centre, Jewish Leadership Council and Lead, JLE, JNF UK, Jewish Police Association, JVN, Jewish Women’s Aid, JLGB, Jnetics, JTeen, JW3, KEF Kids, Kisharon, Langdon, Leket Israel, Liberal Judaism, LJY, London Jewish Health Partnership, Maccabi GB, Magen David Adom UK, March of the Living UK, Masa, Masorti Judaism, Migdal Emunah, Mitzvah Day, Myisrael, New Israel Fund, Nightingale Hammerson, Noa, Noam, Norwood, Our Second Home, PJ Library, Reform Judaism, Resource, RSY, S & P Sephardi Community, Save a Child’s Heart, Sebby’s Corner, Shaare Zedek, Shabbat Walk, Step by Step, Streetwise, The Together Plan, The United Synagogue, Tikva UK, Tribe, UJIA, UJS, UK Friends of Schneider, United Hatzalah, Voices of the Holocaust, World Jewish Relief, Wolfson Hillel, Work Avenue, Yad Vashem UK Foundation, Yellow Candle, Yoni Jesner Foundation and Youth Aliyah.