Most teachers would call it a day if they managed to get their students to do their homework on time, but Rabbi Motti Miller sets the bar higher.
Last year the educator at the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, N.J., asked 11 of his pupils to run a half-marathon in Jerusalem with him to raise money for charity.
“I thought it would be the perfect way to combine health and fitness with tzedaka (charity), chesed, and spirituality, key lessons we teach the teens at school – and what better place for our student delegation to run than in Jerusalem,” said the rabbi in a statement.
Miller and his volunteer runners trained for months through harsh weather conditions, including superstorm Sandy and the Nemo blizzard. The training paid off last week when they crossed the finishing line of the hilly 13.1-mile course.
Together they managed to collect over $37,000 in donations for Shalva: The Association for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children in Israel. Their travel expenses were covered separately by sponsors.
In photos taken after the race, the runners aged 14 to 16 were visibly tired yet proud.
JTA speculates they’ll never have to worry about extra credit again.