Dozens of Jewish runners took on the Royal Parks Marathon on Sunday as they raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

Taking in some of the capital’s iconic landmarks and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens – Norwood’s 18 runners and have so far raised £10,700, which included a group of runners from Mile Estates – Alex Levy, Igal Levy, Charlie Ruff, Kyle Goodman, Kelly Goodman, Kay Meshkin-Pour and Marius Ruff

Newlyweds Oliver and Tori Tenzer also took part for Norwood, saying: “As newlyweds it was very special to run the Royal Parks Marathon together, crossing the finish line arm in arm.

“Norwood is a charity that we have both been involved in for may years and in the incredible year celebrating 25 years of Norwood challenges, we knew that we wanted to complete our own challenge for them.”

Newlyweds Oliver and Tori Tenzer ran for Norwood

Newlyweds Oliver and Tori Tenzer ran for Norwood

Eight runners completed the event for Jewish Care, raising £5,500. Professional photographer, Blake Ezra was inspired to take on the challenge having seen first-hand the work of the organisation and managed to complete the course in an impressive 1:41:29. He also persuaded friends Adam Reed and Stacey Jaffe to join him on the half marathon which fell on Stacey’s birthday.

Blake says: “For so many years, my Grandma Vivienne was the vivacious, headstrong rock of our family. Witnessing her decline over the past three years since she has had Alzheimer’s has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. 

Adam Reed, Stacey Jaffe and Blake Ezra took part for Jewish Care

Adam Reed, Stacey Jaffe and Blake Ezra took part for Jewish Care

“Through my professional life, I’ve been privileged to see the work that Jewish Care undertake every single day in their homes, community centres and dementia day centres, caring for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and supporting their families. It is a truly remarkable organisation and the dedication of their staff is inspirational. We are pleased to have raised vital funds for Jewish Care.”

Rachel Wolman, teacher at Hertsmere Jewish Primary School in Radlett, ran her third half marathon, her first in five years, in just over two hours. She also has a strong personal connection to the cause.  Rachel’s grandma, Anne Lewis, 87, has been a resident at Clore Manor home in Hendon since October 2015 and is also living with dementia. 

Rachel who is 28 and lives in Mill Hill, says, “When I visit my grandma, I am able to see how incredible the staff are at ensuring all the residents are kept safe, healthy and entertained. It really means a lot to me raise money for Jewish Care in order to keep providing the service that they offer to all the people that need it in our local community.

Lisa Fox and Rachel Wolman ran for Jewish Care

Lisa Fox and Rachel Wolman ran for Jewish Care

She ran together with her friend, Lisa Fox who she met through her husband, they went to a fitness class together when they were both expecting their daughters, who now attend nursery together. Rachel added: “Since having my daughter, Jolie in April 2016 I didn’t think I would be able to get my fitness level back, let alone find time to exercise and train however, I have been working really hard and was aiming for a really good time.”

Father and son team, Lionel and Ben Davies and friend, Josh Nielfield do a half marathon together every year, this year they chose to do the Royal Parks run whilst also supporting Jewish Care.

Director of Fundraising & Marketing, Daniel Carmel-Brown, said, “The dedication of our runners who are taking on this challenge to support Jewish Care is truly inspiring.

“I would like to thank them for raising vital funds to support our services for the growing number of people living with dementia in our community and their families. Our specialist care homes and day centres encourage individuals living with dementia to remain active and engaged, helping to maintain their dignity and quality of life and our social work team is there to listen to and understand family members and carers who are coping with the effects of dementia.”

Camp Simcha’s five Royal Parks Half Marathon runners raised nearly £8,000 for the charity which supports families coping with serious childhood illness.

Lee Bladon and Danny Myers collected nearly £1,800 jointly to go towards a new Camp Simcha night-time respite service in memory of Lee’s daughter Evie.

Camp Simcha's Danny Myers and Lee Bladon

Camp Simcha’s Danny Myers and Lee Bladon

Gideon Glass, a former Camp Simcha Big Brother, and Janine and Colin Glasenberg raised £6,000 for general Camp Simcha services.

Nine runners took on the Half Marathon for Kisharon raising over £10,000 for Kisharon’s vital services. Kisharon’s Chief Executive Dr Beverley Jacobson, together with her husband Alan, took part too as a way of thanking and offering moral support to Kisharon’s fantastic team.

The first of the Kisharon team to finish was Elliot Espinzoza in 1.39.25 and the first female finisher was seasoned Kisharon Runner Miranda Shemen in 1.43.17.  In addition to having raised funds so successfully, all the Kisharon  runners completed the race in great time, Gary Behar ran in 1.40:54, Dean Ricklow in 1.40:55, David Englander in 1.55:35, Danielle Donne in 2.01.54, Michael Yattah in 2.02.52, Gemma Posner in 2.17:11 and Sophie Englander in 2.38:31.

Kisharon's Alan Jacobson, Elliot Espinoza and David Englander

Kisharon’s Alan Jacobson, Elliot Espinoza and David Englander

Chief Executive of Kisharon, Dr Beverley Jacobson said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to run in this year’s Royal Parks Half Marathon which is so well organised, scenic and full of atmosphere. It was so uplifting for me to meet the wonderful individuals who chose to push themselves physically to raise money to support Kisahron’s vital community services.  The wholeheartedness of this kind of support is the lifeblood of Kisharon and is what motivates me in my role. I am hugely grateful to all our runners and also very impressed with their times.”

Sophie Englander, ran for Kisharon with her dad David and boyfriend Elliot Espinoza: “My dad has always been a runner and ran the London Marathon in 2010 and multiple half marathons since, which inspired me to enter the London Marathon earlier this year. After the marathon, I didn’t want to let my running go so I decided to sign up for the Royal Parks Half this year. Naturally my dad signed up with me, and my boyfriend, Elliot who is a personal trainer quickly agreed to sign up too.

Kisharon's Sophie Englander

Kisharon’s Sophie Englander

“We all agreed we wanted to run for a Jewish charity and one of Elliot’s clients suggested Kisharon. Once we heard about Kisharon and learnt more about the work that they do we all decided it was the one for us as we’re all passionate about helping others with learning disabilities. We even managed to meet a few members of staff at the Maccabi Fun Run in June.

Whilst on the run, I even got stopped by someone who does a lot of work with JLGB who congratulated me for running for Kisharon and said what a great charity they are, which really gave me a boost.

It was a great day all round and we were really proud to support Kisharon!”

World Jewish Relief’s team of runners raised more than £11,500 for the charity in the 10th Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday (8 October 2017). Cheered on by family, friends and World Jewish Relief’s chief executive, they joined 16,000 other runners on a scenic route through London’s Royal Parks including Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’ Park. The sun shined and they were greeted at the end with snacks, smiles and certificates. The money raised will go to support World Jewish Relief’s work supporting older Jews in Eastern Europe.

Adam Leigh, one of World Jewish Relief’s trustees said, “I can honestly say that the Royal Parks Half Marathon was the greatest two hours in my 52 years on planet earth… it’s an incredible run… It’s for such an important cause and such a terrific experience.” 

WJR's Adam Leigh and David Shaw

WJR’s Adam Leigh and David Shaw

David Shaw said, “I feel exhausted, but I feel great. I feel happy to have supported such a great cause. To anyone who wants to complete a challenge event for World Jewish Relief: Do it! It’s worth it.”

Tamir Grant said, “Great crowd, support and weather, looking forward to food and sleeping until 2018.”

Paul Anticoni, World Jewish Relief’s Chief Executive, says, “I am so proud of our runners – Jessica Bohm, Tamir Grant, Max Heller, Robin Hilton, Adam Leigh, David Shaw – having trained so hard, giving their all and wearing our t-shirts for a wonderful event in the most pleasant of surroundings. They all looked so spritely, while pushing their bodies to the limit in support of World Jewish Relief’s work. A big thank you also to family and friends who turned up to support those running.”