By Joseph (Yossi) Fein

Next Sunday, OU/JLIC Director at NYU, Rabbi Gideon Black and a group of six NYU students are gearing up to run the Rock’n’Roll Half-Marathon in Las Vegas. The team aims to raise $25,000 for Yachad: The National Jewish Council for Disabilities. The challenge of fundraising pales in comparison to the training and intense physical challenge of running 13.1 miles in desert heat for a group of typical runners and busy students.

“I have friends in my community who have enjoyed support from Yachad, which is why I felt instantly connected to this mission. I am inspired by the incredible families of people with special needs, and of course, the people themselves, who garner strength, love, and empathy that undoubtedly has influenced a wave of kindness in the lives of people they touch,” noted NYU Sophomore, Tali Kuhel, who is running her first marathon.

Tali shares the sentiments of all seven of her fellow runners when she insists, “To be a part of a team that supports a mission like this is inspiring and exciting–and a surefire way to elevate the Vegas Strip!” Team NYU will be spending Shabbat at the Young Israel Aish Las Vegas, and are being generously hosted during their stay by proud NYU alum, Dr. Jay Selznick.

Led by Rabbi Gideon Black, the team’s spiritual leader and training motivator, the goal of running 13.1 miles offers these students something more than just a serious workout.” Yachad does G‑d’s work, and we are honored to be supporting their efforts,” said Rabbi Black. “These students are incredible–incorporating the training and fundraising into their already packed academic calendars and community commitments is no easy task, but being the best person you can, rarely is.” The race is November 17 and you can support the team by visiting their team site at v


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