Miami Beach, FL – With an impressive finish time of just over two hours, RTMA of Elizabeth 11th grader Yehudah Weitz did the Jewish Educational Center proud this past weekend when he completed the annual ING Miami Marathon.
Yehudah ran with Team Lifeline, which is the official Chai Lifeline group that participates in the annual marathon, this year for its 10th consecutive time.
Chai Lifeline is a non profit organization that assists and supports children with cancer and other critical pediatric illnesses, and boasts the largest number of team members participating in the popular race.
The Jewish Educational Center is no stranger to Chai Lifeline and participates in a major toy drive and fundraiser every year leading up to Chanukah. JEC consistently ranks among the top schools in terms of funds and toys raised.
Weitz, from West Orange, NJ, ran The race in honor of his cousin Aliza Bornstein, who was born last summer with Downs Syndrome. “I was concerned how her abilities and disabilities would affect her, ” he said, “Since she lives in Israel and I have only had a chance to see a photo of her, I felt that being here in America, this was a way I could help.”
Weitz, an active member of the RTMA varsity hockey team, and and an all-around athlete, completed the race in two hours and fourteen minutes, which ranks him in the impressive high end of the top quarter of over 25,000 race participants from all around the world.
Meeting him at the finish line was his mother Shaina, herself a JEC Bruriah alumna, an OT and current faculty member, and proud mother to three other children who attend the JEC’s RTMA and Yeshiva of Elizabeth divisions.
“I am more proud than I could ever decribe,” she enthused. “Thank you to everyone who supported him and made donations to help him in this amazing accomplishment. Who knows? Maybe next year we’ll have a mother-son team!”
As far as his plans for next year, Weitz shared that he’d like to promote the race to the entire school and develop a plan for training in preparation for the marathon.
Rabbi Simcha Scholar, Executive Vice President of Chai Lifeline welcomed his plan and said that he looks forward to greeting the JEC team personally next year.
Rabbi Eliyahu Teitz, Associate Dean of JEC, also expressed enthusiastic support for his endeavor calling it a “wonderful accomplishment.”
His father Ron was equally proud stating that he is “very proud of him and all the hard work he put in and with raising funds. I know that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.”
Yehudah shared that sentiment and expressed satisfaction in completing a goal that he had set out to achieve yet was uncertain he would ultimately accomplish.
“Aliza means happiness,” he concluded, referring to his cousin in Israel.
Indeed from his broad smile and the undeniable look of pride on his mother’s face as he crossed the finish line, he helped spread that feeling beyond just the race, and certainly met his goal.