Running for hope, love and human dignity

Support me and Shalva at the Jerusalem Marathon 2020


When raising a child you’ll do everything possible in order that they will have a “better” life then you did. Further, you want to do it differently then your parents or grandparents did because it’s your child. Especially when the time comes that they start comparing their grandchildren with you. In most cases it ends up with something like “… a copy of you …”. Not always easy to agree as for example, I hardly recall how I was when I was in the age of 5 or 7 except when looking at old pictures. Nonetheless, I can truly say that I have had a great childhood and I did not miss anything and I hope that my children will say the same one-day.

However, there are families and kids that have not been so lucky and face many more challenges every day. In most cases we speak about families with children with disabilities of all kinds and how they raise their children within the family framework. For those families, Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities is dedicated to providing transformative care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion.

In this life-changing organization in Israel, every child becomes a cherished member of the Shalva family. Kids with disabilities become, “just kids,” with friends and laughter, fun activities and beautiful memories. Children from birth through adulthood are serviced by the most professional, caring and compassionate staff and not only are the children taken care of and treasured, their family members are also incorporated into the Shalva family with warmth and genuine love. Shalva gives equal access and opportunity to all participants regardless of religion, ethnic background, or financial capability.

I have had the pleasure of meeting incredible persons at Shalva and I can tell you firsthand what an extraordinary place it is. This made me passionate to learn more about them and find ways to support them. On my way home I directly started to think how I could get involved within my scope. It turned out that it would not be as easy as I thought because people at Shalva dedicate their lives to others completely – what a great cause. Thus, some of my ideas might stay ideas or dreams.

The most obvious idea that I easily could do is to talk to friends and family and introduce Shalva to them. But I wanted to do more for them especially since the founder of Shalva, Rabbi Kalman Samuels, is a very close school friend of my uncle from Vancouver. Therefore, I decided to be part of a great event where a team of 650 people from round the globe comes together and teams up to “Team Shalva” at the 10thJerusalem Marathon in March 2020. Not only is it one of the biggest sports events in Israel and takes place in front of an awesome, incredible, and historical scenery. Furthermore, I do have the opportunity to meet great people and we all team up to the biggest runner team at the marathon and fully dive into the world of Shalva. As a team we all run in the organizations’ gear to be recognized as the Team Shalva. We all run for all the families of Shalva and the most emotional part of it that some of the kids will be running with us – some even the full distance of 42,195 kilometers. That’s why I am joining Team Shalva. An experience I don’t want to miss! And you can be part of it.

Be part of Team Shalva at the Jerusalem Marathon by supporting me and donating money to Shalva through my runners’ page directly. For every kilometer I run I would like to give back ten times the amount of the value of חַי (life). Anything helps.

On behalf of the children and families of Shalva, thank you for your time and your contribution.

About the Author
Tom, originally from Cologne (Germany), grew up in a German-Israeli family. Currently he lives in Berlin with his wife and two girls. He is working as a Digital Transformation Manager for the German car industry.
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