July 14, 2024
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Team HASC Jerusalem Serves Klal Yisrael…and Potato Kugel

Just two weeks ago was the one of a kind annual Jerusalem—and it was Team HASC’s most successful showing yet. Almost 300 runners came from all over the U.S. and Israel to raise money and to support the campers and families of Camp HASC. The dedicated runners surpassed the fundraising and participation goals set out in the campaign and proved yet again― העיקר הוא הרצון ―our effort is what matters most.

Like the Camp HASC families, campers and staff members who represent the full spectrum of Jewish communities around the world each summer, Team HASC was also comprised of all types of Jews united for a special day in Jerusalem. “Queen Esther commanded—lech knos et kol hayehudim—Go gather all the Jews,” I shared with the crowd. “Gathering all the Jews is our mission each summer in Camp HASC as well as this Friday at the marathon, all in support of our special campers.”

The team was a generational experience as well, including HASC grandparents who have been involved for decades, young children in strollers who participated for the very first time and a really great group of current, past and future staff members who remain tightly connected to Camp HASC and their campers. Shmiel Kahn, camp director, noted that the gathering almost felt “lema’ala min hateva” (beyond the rules of nature) with so many types of people dedicating themselves to the cause.

Many charity teams run in the Jerusalem marathon, but Team HASC remains famous for its delicious potato and yerushalmi kugel! Over 2,000 pieces of kugel were served to runners, fans, marathon staff and security forces—bringing amazing smiles to the faces of everyone present and as Rav Judah Mischel, executive director, pointed out, “Our effort in the Jerusalem Marathon really represents what Camp HASC is all about: ahavas Yisrael, mesiras nefesh for others, teamwork, meaningful fun, awesome ruach and great potato kugel. Seeing all the families, alumni, staff and friends who join us is so encouraging to all of us, and it’s such a kiddush Hashem.”

Team HASC’s kugel and good spirit went viral this year when top Israeli social media influencers, including Yair Cherki, posted all about it. “Seems to be the only marathon in the world where potato and yerushalmi kugel are distributed at the end.” Of course, featuring the Team HASC staff serving hungry runners.

By Avi Pollak

Rabbi Avi Pollack is the program director for HASC.

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