By Jacob B., 7th Grade, Krieger Schechter Day School of Chizuk Amuno Congregation

For the past eight years, the Krieger Schechter Day School has hosted a 5K race to benefit the school’s scholarship program and celebrate the end of the school year.

The race is open to the entire community, and people choose from the 5K, one-mile fun run, or trike race. People may walk any of the courses. After crossing the finish line, participants are awarded medals, and then enjoy a community-wide festival with bouncy houses, food trucks, face painting, games, and much more. 

For the first 5K race in 2011, only 36 participants registered in advance. However, approximately 200 people came out on race day this year.  In recent years, about 750 to 1,000 participants have joined the race. 

Liz Minkin-Friedman, KSDS Director of Development, created this event and previously served as its chair. Randy Turkel and Stephanie Stewart co-chaired this year’s event, and worked together to plan both the race and the race festival.

 “We do it mostly to celebrate the end of the year and to build community,” explained Minkin-Friedman. “We also have this event to raise money that goes to scholarship for students who cannot afford the whole tuition to go to KSDS,” she said. Over the eight years, the event has raised $300,000.

Minkin-Friedman aimed to create an event in which everyone could partake rather than something that required skill. “Every year, there used to be a golf and tennis tournament at KSDS to raise money. I wanted an event in which everyone could participate,” she said. “I suggested a race because all you had to own was a pair of tennis shoes. However, for tennis and golf, you had to have a skill. It makes it easier for kids to participate, and the adults can choose to run or walk.” 

Noah B., a seventh-grade KSDS student who runs the 5K race every year, loves this event very much. “Last year, there were food trucks, which I liked,” Noah said. “I liked running with my friends and family, but my favorite part was getting to spend a great day with my community.”

Minkin-Friedman looks forward to this event every year. “I love to see the faces of the kids when they cross the finish line,” she added. “The kids are very proud of themselves when they finish the race, and I love seeing that.”

Race participants enjoy spending time with their friends and family members, especially while doing good for the community. This year’s race, held on Sunday, June 2, raised $72,000 for scholarships. Matthew Hudes, an 18-year-old Chizuk Amuno Congregation member, won the 5K race, crossing the finish line in 20 minutes.  

With the 5K race, additional courses and a variety of activities, community members enjoy the annual event. The 5K race is and will always be a highlight of the year.