April 23, 2024
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Registration Open for Ezra Schwartz Memorial 5K to Benefit Rutgers Hillel Center for Israel Engagement

Annual Event Scheduled April 10 at Buccleuch Park

New Brunswick—Registration and sponsorship opportunities for the Ezra Schwartz Memorial FIT 5K Run/Walk, One Mile Fun Run/Walk and Israel Festival, to be held Sunday, April 10, are now open for students, businesses and the general community. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit the Rutgers Hillel Center for Israel Engagement (RHCIE).

Beginning this year, the race has been renamed in perpetuity to honor the memory of Ezra Schwartz, who was accepted to the Rutgers class of 2020, and was murdered by Palestinian terrorists this past November, while spending a gap year in Israel.

Since its inception in 2011, the FIT 5K has raised more than $100,000 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 David Yellin, 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.

According to Jewish Agency Israel Fellow Ido Mahatzri, 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 and organized in 2011 by Co-Chairs David Yellin and Jennifer Bullock, herself a serious runner. “The event,” Yellin explained, “provides 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.”

Ezra Schwartz Memorial FIT 5K Organizing Committee members include Jennifer James, David Lemerman, Susan Lemerman, Sarah Magida, Ido Mahatzri, Hana Suberi Yavelberg and Liel Zahavi-Asa.

Sanctioned by USA Track & Field NJ, the Ezra Schwartz Memorial FIT 5K is a New Jersey Grand Prix 500-point event. Participants may also register as students or community members in the 5K run/walk division or the one-mile fun run/walk. 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 sponsor online at www.rutgershillel.org/fit5k.

According to Bullock, registration fees are: USATF members, $22 prior to April 1 and $27 thereafter; community runners, $25 before April 1and $30 thereafter and students, $10 before April 1 and $15 after.

The Israel Festival is free of charge and will include activities, games, food and fun for the entire family.

Tax-deductible sponsorship opportunities include: $10,000 event, $1,800 festival, $1,000 start line, $500 finish line, $250 water station, $180 festival table and $100 to be listed on commemorative t-shirts.

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

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