After a few years of co-chairing the Am Echad Walk/Run for Jewish Education in Ottawa, we’re looking forward to this year’s event on Sunday, June 8.
In a community filled with wonderful volunteers and a passion for education, we always find it amusing when people ask us why we have chosen to take on the responsibility to chair this important annual community event. The answer is simple. Jewish Education is important, Jewish community events are important, and Jewish community events that support Jewish education are doubly important.
Many reading this column will have attended a past Jewish community walkathon in Ottawa or any other Jewish community that hosts an annual walk for Israel or the local Jewish federation. If you have attended, then you know the great feeling of seeing so many members of the community walking together, walking proud, walking strong, sharing a few laughs, catching up with friends, and, of course, eating together.
In the last few years, Ottawa’s Jewish community walkathon has evolved into the National Capital Region’s only kosher timed race in support of Jewish education. We walk and run together with people who share the value of Jewish education being important to their family and to our community. We participate together as One People, as Am Echad.
We invite you to visit our website – www.amechadwalkrun.com – and learn more about the history of the walkathon (compliments of the Ottawa Jewish Archives) as well as learn about the many different options for Jewish education in Ottawa by choosing the link that tells you who is supported by this annual event. Once you’ve visited the site – you should register and choose which school you would like to support – or register multiple times and support many schools (who are we to tell you to support only one school?).
“Where does the money go?” is a question we are often asked.
The answer is “to the school that you choose to support” or “to the school that the person you are sponsoring has chosen to support.” Every dollar pledged goes to Jewish education in Ottawa. The cost of registering participants covers the costs of the event. The Jewish Federation of Ottawa and the Ottawa Jewish Community School ensure that this annual community event is a “fun-raiser” and a “fund raiser” for every Jewish school in Ottawa that chooses to participate and be at the start line. David Smith of Creative Kosher Catering ensures that everyone is well fed once they cross the finish line.
As co-chairs, we have many individuals and organizations to thank for playing small and large roles in making the Am Echad walk/run a huge success. We hope you know how much we appreciate what you have done to make this one of the most successful community events in Ottawa. Where else will you find people of different ages, who celebrate their Judaism in different ways, living in different parts of Ottawa all joining together to support Jewish education? Education is our community’s future.
We were planning on telling you about some special guests who will be attending this year’s Am Echad Walk/Run – but it looks like we’re almost out of space. So we invite you to register soon and attend on Sunday, June 8 to find out who they are.
See you at the start line!