The grey skies, drizzle and occasional downpour didn’t dampen spirits, June 4, when students and supporters – including graduates, parents, grandparents, and even a few dogs – of all of the city’s Jewish day and supplementary schools spent a Sunday afternoon having fun and raising funds for their schools at the annual Am Echad Walk/Run for Jewish Education in Ottawa.
Each participant in the Am Echad Walk/Run chose which school would receive the funds they raised through sponsorships for their participation. Thirteen schools, including day schools, supplementary schools, and even Jewish preschools were represented.
“It is truly fantastic to see how important Jewish education is for the community,” said Rabbi Elazar Durden, principal of Torah Day School of Ottawa, who was participating in his first Am Echad Walk/Run, along with his son Yehuda.
Michael Polowin, a proud father of two OJCS graduates and incoming chair of the OJCS board, said he was proud to support the school at the walk/run.
The school, said Polowin, gave his children a wonderful start in life “and also taught them about who they are.”
A new component to the event added this year was the Colours Race. Racers ran through the Ottawa Jewish Community School (OJCS) parking lot where onlookers covered them with coloured powder.
“This is the most fun part of the day for me, and one of the main reasons I came today,” said Libby Weiss, a Grade 5 student at OJCS.
Following the walk/run, the action shifted inside the OJCS building where a kosher dinner was served and the fun and games, including inflatable rides for the kids, continued through the rest of the afternoon.
Co-ordinating all the action were OJCS parents Jennifer Greenberg and Galit Sternthal, the event co-chairs, and Leila Ages, the fundraising chair.
“Although it was a lot of work, it was also great fun for us,” said Greenberg. “We are very excited to see the great turnout.”