Chaim Cohen with daughters Basya and Yehudis
Chaim Cohen with daughters Basya and Yehudis

Orthodox team set to run event as fundraiser.

Rochel Burstyn Contributing Writer

A new team has hit the ground running.

Rochel Leah Black
Rochel Leah Black Jackie Headapohl | Detroit Jewish News

Rochel Leah Black of Southfield became a runner nine years ago. Some energetic friends raved about running; they seemed healthy and happy, so she decided to try it. She instantly loved it, finding running to be a straightforward, convenient way for a busy mom to stay in shape.

Last year, Black found herself chatting with a friend who had experience raising money online. The two started brainstorming about the possibility of creating a local running team that would fund raise for their efforts, and that’s when Team TAV (“Takes A Village… to raise a child”) was born, with the proceeds benefiting local kids with severe special needs, through programs like Detroit Chesed Project’s daily respite program, The Spot.

After hours of researching, planning, designing and organizing, an informational meeting was announced and new runners were recruited.

Over 25 Team TAV runners — all from the Orthodox community — are currently training to participate in Michigan’s largest full (26.2 miles) or half (13.1 miles) Detroit Free Press Chemical Bank (DFPCB) Marathon on Oct. 21.

Fundraising took off with a bang and Team TAV became an official Bronze Level Charity Partner.

Team members include three members of one family: Chaim Cohen, a personal trainer and running coach from Oak Park, has been running for years. His daughters Basya and Miriam, both of Oak Park, are clearly following in his footsteps. They’ve long pushed each other to be better runners, although this is the first time they’re teammates.

Above: Chaim Cohen with daughters Basya and Yehudis

“I love running and being part of Team TAV means I’m helping others while doing something I love. What could be better?” Basya said.

Not all team members are experienced. Gabi Grossbard of Southfield said he only recalls running once before in his life. “There was this one time, I was trying to catch a bus …”

With two kids with special needs himself, the cause is dear to his heart; he was one of the earliest people to sign up and gladly helped bring the dream of Team TAV to reality.

“I don’t enjoy running, but I believe in the cause and I’m running because of it. I started training about three months ago. It feels more like years!” Nevertheless, he’s taking it step by step.

Whether new or experienced, Black points out that everyone’s on even footing here.

“Running’s an activity where you have to put the work in. Even if someone’s naturally athletic and fit, they still need to put in the training time to be a runner,” Black said.

Volunteers are needed at the marathon. For volunteer, sponsorship or donation details, contact Rochel Leah Black at (248) 496-0583.

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