Rank and File: Run for the Money

Looking for a charitable cause to compound the benefits of all that physical exertion?

Runners participate in the 2015 Tel Aviv Marathon, on February 27, 2015.
Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP

A benevolent sprint: Marathons over the years have increasingly become opportunities for philanthropies to launch charity drives. The Tel Aviv Marathon, which takes off on Friday, is no different. It even has its own dedicated fundraising page, “Make a Change with Every Step.”

The list of nearly 90 charitable causes includes a number of organizations created by English speakers to better Israeli society or the broader Jewish community.

Such NGOs include Leket, founded by Joseph Gitler to provide meals to needy families, the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin, named for the Philadelphia native killed in the Second Lebanon War; and Sunrise Association, which offers a free day camp for children coping with cancer.

To support a charity, visit: https://charity.tlvmarathon.co.il/en/Charities .

Israeli baseball in Korea: After Israel’s national baseball team, made up mostly of Jewish American ballplayers, qualified for the World Baseball Classic, a delegation was brought over to enable squad members to see the country they would be representing.

The trip inspired Jon Mayo, an MLB reporter who grew up in the Zionist youth movement Young Judaea, to recruit a trio of Zionist-sleep-away-camp-buddies-turned-filmmakers to document the journey of the players.

“Americans need positive stories about Israel. They also love baseball,” Daniel A. Miller, one of the three filmmakers, told Haaretz. “We believe the sport provides a wonderful entry point to learn about the majesty and meaning of Israel, even for the most unfamiliar.”

His codirectors are Seth Kramer and Jeremy Newberger. The trio has launched a Kickstarter campaign to follow Team Israel to the World Baseball Classic in South Korea next month. The campaign ends February 27.For more info visit:www.kickstarter.com/projects/839615840/heading-home-a-documentary-film .

Soldiers' errands: More than 1,500 Lone Soldiers from 60 countries gathered last week in Tel Aviv for an exclusive one-stop personal errands day. They were able to deal with personal affairs from driving tests and banking, to taxes and other bureaucratic paperwork.

Nefesh B’Nefesh, the immigrant support organization, arranged the day in cooperation with the IDF Human Resources Department, the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Ministry of Interior, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA.

Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, cofounder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh said that as the growing program has expanded the ways to minimize the soldiers’ time doing personal errands, to which as lone soldiers they are entitled one day per two months.

“For me it is emotional to see these incredible Olim, speaking multiple languages, gathered under one roof, unified in Zionism and dedicated service,” the former Boca Raton rabbi added.