Published on: Miami Herald
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By: Jesse Scheckner

Jewish Community Services of South Florida (JCS) and the Shul of Bal Harbour will host the inaugural Shoah 5K Run/Walk on Sunday to spread awareness of the Holocaust — “Shoah” in Hebrew—and to raise money for its remaining survivors.

The family event, which takes place on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) in North Miami Beach’s Oleta River State Park, includes a friendly but competitive run/walk and a mini-race for kids. Post-race events include an award ceremony for race winners in each category, a silent auction, raffle and candle lighting service honoring Holocaust victims. Guest speakers—survivors and influential community members—will present shortly after. All participants will receive a shirt and ribbon.

“This is an intergenerational family event to raise awareness about the shocking statistic that one in three Holocaust survivors lives at or below the poverty line,” said Lior Minkowitz, Shoah 5K event chair. “It’s also an opportunity teach our kids about the Holocaust and its importance to modern Judaism, the state of Israel and the world. We took a pledge to never forget, and this run allows us to teach our children. In the next 15-20 years, children won’t be able to meet survivors. This event is a unique opportunity for them to do just that.”

Proceeds will benefit local Holocaust survivors through the JCS, the largest nonprofit Jewish social service agency in South Florida. The JCS helps more than 600 local survivors live securely and with dignity by providing them with home health aides, housekeeping, transportation, counseling, kosher meal delivery, care management and financial assistance.

“Bringing together people of all ages from the community in memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and raising money to help survivors live better lives as long as we have them is really what it’s all about,” said Sabine Sharon, event co-chair. “It’s our generation’s responsibility to deliver the message of the Holocaust onward in the community. We accept that responsibility and have chosen to act on it.”

The Holocaust, or Shoah, was the period between 1933 and 1945 when six million Jewish people were murdered in Nazi Germany-occupied Europe before and during World War II. Today, there are less than 100,000 remaining survivors who spent time imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps—2,000 of whom reside in South Florida. Through its many programs, partnerships and hundreds of volunteers, the JCS significantly improved the quality of life for 630 Holocaust survivors last year.

“What we went through, nobody can repay us for that,” said Edith Ackerman, 97. “[The JCS] are very nice and do the best they can. Everybody tries to help.”


The inaugural Shoah 5K Run/Walk will be Sunday at Oleta River State Park, 3400 NE 163rd St. Early registration runs until noon Saturday, April 22, and costs $18 per child and $36 per adult. Day-of registration begins at 8 a.m. and costs $25 per child (16 and under) and $50 per adult. A mini-race for kids begins at 8:45 a.m. The 5K starts at 9 a.m.

One pre-race packet pickup is scheduled Thursday, April 20, 1-4 p.m. at Runner’s Depot, 20335 Biscayne Blvd. #11.

All who preregister automatically enter a raffle to win a Royal Caribbean international seven-night cruise for two in an ocean view stateroom.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities or to register, visit or email