London Marathon 2019 - Our Team

25 Apr 2019

This year, five Jewish Care runners will be pounding out the miles at the next Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 28 April. This year, Sir Andy Murray will start the marathon.

Michele Lobl will be running her second marathon, this time to raise money for Jewish Care. Michele’s family have a long standing, close connection with the charity. When Michele’s father, Benjamin Morgenstern, was diagnosed with dementia, the Social Work and Community Support team were there for Norma, Michele's mother and the family. Benjamin stayed at the Jewish Care’s home in Hendon for respite care, and sadly passed away in 2002.

17 years later, Michele’s mum, Norma, who is 92, is a resident at Jewish Care’s Lady Sarah Cohen House. After initially staying at Ruben’s House for respite care she was diagnosed with rapid onset Alzheimer’s disease in December last year. Norma very recently underwent surgery to remove a tumour and has moved back to the Friern Barnet care home to receive nursing and palliative care.

Michele says, “Norma has always been a feisty, stoic and independent lady – a true Balaboosta, (Yiddish for feeding those she loves and perpetuating the Jewish Traditional household), loving her cooking, baking and voluntary work. Mummy taught us the value of supporting others.

“Now with our own family crisis it seems the least I can do to try and raise additional funding to support Norma/mummy and so many families, who like us, have Jewish Care to thank for supporting their loved ones at their most vulnerable times in their lives and ensure care and dignity at the end of their lives.”

“Last year I was a novice runner and completed the Marathon in the searing heat – this year I hope to improve on my timing but for me it’s not about the time but crossing the line!! Every pound sponsored will also mean a lot to me and will keep me moving forwards through each mile in the knowledge that families in a similar situation to ours will benefit.”

The Running Rabbi, Rabbi Celia Surget, Associate Rabbi at Radlett  Reform Synagogue, is running two marathons for Jewish Care this year, Paris and London. She has already completed the Paris Marathon just a few weeks ago. Rabbi Celia also serves as Governor for Clore Shalom Day school, and sits on the executive board for the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors, the Reform movement's rabbinic and cantorial body.


She said, “I am proud and excited to have been given a spot on the Jewish Care London Marathon team - what a privilege to run for such an inspiring charity. I have set a goal of £3500, which will pay for a specialist bedroom equipment to enable care home residents to be assisted in a dignified and comfortable manner. Please help me reach that goal and more. It might be one person, but we can make a difference to one person's life.”

Rikki Lewis, 32, who lives in Willesden Green, grew up in Edgware and also has a strong personal connection to the Friern Barnet home, says, “I decided to run the marathon after running the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October, which I also ran for Jewish Care. I am really a novice in long distance running and was intrigued about the challenge and my body’s ability to go the distance both physically and mentally.

“Relentless is the one word I would use to describe the training alongside tiring! I have experienced exhaustion and a new found appetite which I did not think was possible.

“I really wanted to raise money for an organisation that is focused on the local community I grew up with. I have had relatives and close family friends that have been residents at Jewish Care’s Lady Sarah Cohen home and have elected for my fundraising to go towards the operation of the care home. It is extremely comforting knowing first-hand what impact my fundraising will have.”

Marc Cohen, is 34 and also feels very close to the charity he is supporting. He lives in Chigwell and works in the family property business, he says, "I grew up in Essex and was a regular at Redbridge Jewish Community Centre as a teenager. Whilst I was there I could see how Jewish Care looked after older people in Essex.  My Dad helped with the Meals on Wheels service and through my Mum, who manages the JBD Hilary Dennis Court, I saw how the Jewish Care team also supported older members living independently, with support, in our community. 

"Having been at RJCC and a pupil at King Solomon High School, it was important to me to run for a Jewish charity. It had always been on my bucket list to run a marathon so when my younger brother, Ben, asked me to run I decided to sign up too.  We both got a place and after two runs he quit, but I kept on going and just really enjoyed it. We're still teasing him about it.

"My wife, Nicole, has been amazing at supporting me all the way as have our children, Theo, 2 and Amelia, 4 and the support from the Jewish Care support team, especially Caroline and Josh Domb, has been fantastic."

Matt Capin will also be running for Jewish Care, more info to follow.

Adam Overlander-Kaye, Jewish Care’s Director of Fundraising & Community Engagement said, “I’d like to thank all of our runners for taking on this tough challenge. I wish them the very best of luck on Sunday and look forward to cheering them on. Each runner has their own inspiring story about what motivated them to take on this huge challenge in support of Jewish Care. If you feel inspired and want to join Team Jewish Care at a Marathon or another challenge event please do get in contact, we would love to hear from you."