web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Fred Lebow And Pol 101


In 1986, I was hired to work at a corporate law firm as a mailroom supervisor. The senior partnerswere very successful Jewish men who specialized in corporate law. As I started to familiarize myself with the company’s interior, I admired the impressive paintings and antique furniture. However, it was one particular framed picture that most captured my attention and curiosity because it had nothing to do with the concept and law theme of the company.

The framed picture belonged to one of the senior partners, M. S. It was a poster of the New York City Marathon which he ran and proudly displayed. Mr. S. once told me that he was a Holocaust survivor who fled from Germany when he was a little boy to escape the atrocities that would follow the millions of Jewish people in Europe.Years later, this gentleman went to college and to graduate school and succeeded in becoming a senor corporate lawyer.

What I found fascinating was that the poster of the marathon he ran in contained the number of his entry which to him was the crowning achievement as significant as his accomplishments in law and his personal life. Although he never explained why that achievement was so monumental to him, he proudly wanted to be given recognition for it.

After I assessed all of the tribulations and successes of this man I finally understood why running in the marathon was an accumulation of the total achievements, successes and triumphs of his life. That shining moment when he reached the finish line was for him a total validation that would be with him for the rest of his life, and that New York City Marathon poster, which represented his participation, tied it all together.

After dealing with the questions I posed in my assignment, William brought his paper to a personal close:

Being a blind person who lost his sight 13 years ago, I’ve been faced with many challenges throughout these recent years. I know what it is to hold some dreams and to lose others. However, just like my former boss who proudly displayed his New York City Marathon poster, I know what it is to enter a race of challenging issues that we face in life. It now blows my mind as I write this because this book has inspired me to run in the next New York City Marathon.

I think this (almost fifty-year-old) blind man has a lot of chutzpah planning to run in the marathon. I may be probably the last one to cross the finish line, but the experience will cap the goals of others who enter with disabilities and limitations. I’ve suffered many disappointments and denied opportunities since I lost my vision. I want to run in the race because I not only feel as a New Yorker I should take advantage of the opportunity, but because like my former boss, I want to make it one of my crowning successes.

Clearly, my multiethnic students identified with Fred Lebow’s humanistic vision of renewal and inclusiveness. Hopefully, the story of this magical marathon – created by a Holocaust survivor no less humbly born than they – will spur their own dreams about also becoming King of New York for a day.

About the Author: Ron Rubin is professor of political science at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York. He is the author of several books including “The Unredeemed” and “Anything for a T-Shirt: Fred Lebow and the New York City Marathon, the World's Greatest Footrace.”


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Fred Lebow And Pol 101”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ismail Haniyeh, highest ranking Hamas member in Gaza, pictured Nov. 25, 2012.
Hamas Leader’s Daughter Treated in Israeli Hospital; #BDSFail
Latest Indepth Stories
Arab children look at pictures of two of a kind - Arafat and Barghouti.

What was the world reaction to a relatively light blockade of Gaza compared to the deliberate killing of Jews and destruction of Israel? A rebuke at the nature of the collective punishment on all of the people in Gaza. Consider the Sayreville, NJ case again. Imagine the football team, school and community participated in all […]

Jordan's King Abdullah

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

The Kinneret/Sea of Galilee

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Bibeye doctor

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

If Hamas is ISIS, the world asks, why didn’t Israel destroy it given justification and opportunity?

That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.

We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.

Does it not seem ironic that just on the day all of Israel is joyously celebrating another year of having concluded the public reading of the entire Pentateuch, we must mournfully and even tearfully commemorate the death of the individual who imparted to us God’s Torah in the first place?

Why is “Palestine” worthier of “statehood recognition” than ISIS, another terrorist gang seeking it?

More Articles from Ron Rubin
Chabad-affiliated St. Petersburg Choral Synagogue,

The Jewish population of Moscow numbers well over 100,000.

Front-Page-082313

For two thousand years, Jews exiled from their homeland and lacking political sovereignty were easy targets for elitist rulers on the right and the pseudo-egalitarian mob on the left. When Emancipation came and Jews exited the ghettos, Jewish self-made pitfalls were no less horrific, as many embraced the trendy “isms” of secular society only to spiritually assimilate and disappear from history. Yet despite the persecutions, on the one hand, and the enticements of some host countries’ cultures, on the other, the Jewish nation lives.

Though the ranks of single-issue pro-Israel Jewish voters (they comprise perhaps one-fourth of the Jewish electorate) have contracted as a result of mounting assimilation, those voters have nonetheless learned a lot over the past sixteen years.

Given his swaggered walk and ineloquent delivery, George W. Bush is an easy one to underestimate. But pundits and politicians do so at their own peril, cases in point being Al Gore and John Kerry, two gentlemen who like to think of themselves as high cultivated and erudite.

Having spent earlier sabbaticals here in Israel, I knew the subject of aliyah loomed as a background issue but hardly expected the untold ways it would recast itself.

At the restaurant farewell dinner, Professor Dov Zlotnick asked the dozen or so students of his forty-year-running Saturday afternoon Talmud shiur to continue their learning despite his approaching retirement to Jerusalem.

Thanks to Fred Lebow, founder of the New York City Marathon, some 500,000 Americans will run in marathons this year. In my book Anything for a T-Shirt: Fred Lebow and the New York City Marathon, the World’s Greatest Footrace (Syracuse University Press, 2004), I show how Lebow, a Holocaust survivor, changed the notion of this 26.2 mile race, which this year will be held on Sunday, Nov. 5, from a grueling, sweaty showcase for elite runners into a people’s competition.

Clichéd postmortems analyzing Israel’s failure to deal Hezbollah a clear defeat miss the point in blaming Prime Minister Olmert’s lack of military experience or native ineptness. The key reasons for Israel’s poor performance are deeper and far more ideological.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/fred-lebow-and-pol-101/2006/10/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: