1It was a cold Sunday morning in early April, but that didn’t stop over 30 Ohel Bais Ezra participants in the Team Ohel Charity 5K Run in beautiful Prospect Park.

The event, in conjunction with Generosity Brooklyn, featured a live DJ, professional pre-race warm-up and stretches, a professional announcer, customized T-shirts, and finisher medals for all of the participants.

Throughout the race, siblings ran side by side, for an incredible morning of inclusion and connection. The pride that the participants felt for their families was obvious at every turn of the course. Each team ran at its own pace, and each individual had an expression of joy as the teams crossed the finish line and were presented with their medals.

Over the past few years, Ohel Bais Ezra has expanded its incredibly popular Sibshops program for children and teens with siblings who have a developmental disability. Through events such as the Sunday run, individuals with disabilities and their siblings get to spend quality time and further develop the unique bonds that they have.

Alyse Appelbaum, an Ohel Bais Ezra Area Coordinator involved in the event, said, “The goal of our sibling programs is to nurture strong and meaningful relationships amongst the siblings–individuals who share many of the same life experiences and challenges. Sunday’s side-by-side run was a perfect example of this, as it provided an exciting atmosphere for the families and siblings to spend time with each other.”

Ohel runs separate monthly Sibshops programs for boys and girls ages 6—11, in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway. Ohel is thankful to the Steigman-Spitalnick families and Pomegranate for partial funding for the Sibshops Program. For more information about Ohel Bais Ezra’s sibling programs, contact Azriel Steiner at 718-686-3492 or Azriel_Steiner@ohelfamily.org.

Since 1969, Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services has served as a dependable haven of individual and family support, helping people of all ages surmount everyday challenges, heal from trauma, and manage with strength and dignity during times of crises. Driven by service excellence, Ohel’s professional staff meets the myriad social-service needs of the general community, while at the same time providing culturally sensitive services to the Jewish community, including Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian speakers. Through highly-rated foster care, developmental disability, mental health, and other programs and services, Ohel provides supportive housing, treatment, care coordination, education, outreach and much more to elevate lives and strengthen individuals and communities in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Florida, and California, and worldwide on the Web. David Mandel is the CEO of Ohel. v


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here