By Hayley Goodman
The University of Maryland’s Jewish Student Union hosted its second annual Race Your Heart Out: 5K for Save a Child’s Heart (S.A.C.H) on Sunday, Nov. 10 on the Chapel Field on campus.
“A big part of JSU is community service,” Josh Gilstein, president of the Jewish Student Union said. “This event is a fun way for students to become involved, in addition to supporting a great cause.”
JSU created the event last year because they wanted to bring a unique, Israel focused event to campus. This race is the only event on campus that raises money for an Israeli based organization.
“It draws a diverse spectrum of Jewish (and non-Jewish) students, which is the core of JSU’s mission. Additionally, I think we appealed to a broader range of co-sponsors and attendees, ranging from Israel groups to Greek organizations to non-Jewish groups like the Sikh Student Association,” Gilstein said.
But there have been some changes since last year.
“We were definitely more organized this year but more people participated in the event last year,” Tatiana Hasson, the Israel Chair for JSU, said. Two hundred people registered last year compared to 150 people this year.
Although 150 people registered for the event there were only 62 runners who participated in the run.
“Considering that it’s a Sunday morning, I’d say it’s a good turnout from what I can see. Also I heard that people are still making donations to the cause even if they aren’t running,” senior business major and participant Lisa Dunn said.
Many of the co-sponsorships for this event were based off already existing relationships. The Jewish Student Union has strong relationships with other Jewish and Israel groups such as Israel on Campus Coalition of Greater Washington, American Jewish Committee, JDCU, Tamid Israel Investment Group, TerPAC, Shalom Zionists at Maryland, Terps for Israel, as well as non-Jewish student groups such as Sikh Indian Community, Delta Epsilon Mu, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Sigma Delta Tau and Phi Sigma Sigma.
“We reached out to potential cosponsors far in advance before the event [over a month in advance] and met with all of them to bring everyone on board and make the event as successful as possible,” Gilstein said.
JSU teamed up with a total of 13 other campus organizations, who helped to organize, to fund, and to co-sponsor the event.
“It is really special when more than 10 groups on campus come together to support an issue as important as this one,” said Danielle Horn, JSU social action chair.
But there are improvements that can be made for next year.
“It would have been nice for them to put up signs for Chapel Field for people who don’t know the campus that well,” Danya Czarnolewski, participant and sophomore Biology major said.
Also, sophomore behavioral and community health and participant Joshua Trowell noticed when he came that JSU had not set up the registration table yet.
“Next year they should have everything set up so the event can start right at 10 a.m.,” Trowell said.
JSU raised around $1000, which will go to S.A.C.H., an Israeli charity fighting heart disease in developing countries.
S.A.C.H. is motivated by the age-old Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world. By mending the hearts of children, regardless of their origin, S.A.C.H. is contributing to a better and more peaceful future for all of our children.
A speaker from S.A.C.H. kicked off the race and card making for recovering children took place throughout the run.