Hello Everyone, My name is Joel Nasar, I’m 11 years old and in 5th grade in Flatbush Yeshivah. When Charles asked me to speak I didn’t know what I would speak about but I had to say Yes. The Team SBH Disney Trip is my favorite because it combines 2 of my favorite things. Running and Sephardic Bikur Holim.
My First 2 races were with team SBH in 2014 & 2015 when I was 7 and 8 year old. I ran in the 5k races in the summer in deal. It’s the first times I even ran a race and like most of everyone here I had no clue what I was doing .
I remember going out fast and by the end I could barely breathe and my family and friends being so proud of me for finishing in a great time. After both those races I didn’t think about running much, just that I wanted to beat my time in the following years race but like most of everyone here without putting in any training.
My dad made me say that. The following February 2016 our family came on our first SBH Disney Trip. That trip changed my life. I remember hearing all the great speeches from the committee members of SBH and inspirational speeches from so many amazing people who push hard and follow their dreams. From people who have become great friends and continue to inspire and support me everyday .
Listening to DJ Cohen and my 6 year old brother Albert’s girlfriend Cheri Srour. How they set goals and conquer them no matter what. With the Because I can Attitude , they are unstoppable. I left that trip feeling so motivated that I can do anything and also about what a great organization SBH is. I decided 2 things that day.
1. That I want to focus on running and 2 that I want to be apart of SBH. The moment we got back from that trip we organized a trip to the Food Pantry with our grade. It was so much fun going to the supermarket and making mishloach manot for Purim to donate.
We took one of the Mishloach Monot to an old man who lived down the block from us, he lives alone with no family around him, he was so happy when we gave him that Mishloch manot that he started crying as it was the only Mishloach Manot he received that Purim, I will always remember how good it made us all feel . Also after that trip my Dad started taking me running 1 - 2 times a week. We stayed focused on the SBH 5k that coming summer in Deal. We ran a few races in between and I remember how nervous I was for that race. I ended up running a PR and winning my age group with a 7:42 pace per mile, It was my dream to run faster than an 8 minute mile and it happened, It was the most amazing feeling ever.
After that I started running more and got much faster, I came in with a new goal for next years race, to average under a 7:30 pace per mile. The next year this past summer I won my age group again with a 7:29 pace per mile.
I hit my goal. I really fell in love with Running. I then joined the Prospect Park track team this past September and it has been amazing. I want to thank my Dad for dedicating his time to my track events. I now practice 2-3 times a week and race almost every Sunday , My Mile PR is down to 6 minutes and 26 seconds.
Our team traveled to North Carolina this past December and we won the National Championship, It was a crazy experience. I am part of this great team with great runners and I know this wouldn’t of happened without SBH.
This is where it all started. And then this morning happened, It was awesome. Me and Jack Elo were running next to each other the whole race, finishing 2nd and 3rd OVERALL with a sub 6:50 per mile pace. I ran the Race of my life with a new PR!.
I also want t o thank Solly Elmann for running with me. This past Summer was a very hard summer for me and my family. We lost 3 important people in our family in the same month.
I lost my Sabah Sam Sasson, my moms dad, My great grandmother, my Moms Grandma Adele and my Great grandfather Alan Nasar. I felt angry and lost and forgot my potential. Losing people that meant so much to me so quickly was very hard.
I then thought back to these SBH Disney trips and remembered being inspired from the people and speeches I heard. How there will be challenges in life but we have great people around us and to push forward. The inspirational speeches and just being around the great people at SBH had a great impact on me.
I learnt so much from these trips that it really helped me and my family get through these tough times and to push forward.
This is our 3rd trip to Disney with SBH and they are getting better and better. I want to truly thank SBH for everything they have taught me over the years and for inspiring me to achieve my goals and to be a better person. As I’m 11 years I’m not really focusing on what I want to do when I grow up. But I do know that I want to continue to run and BH run half and Full marathons with Team SBH and that I also want to be a part of SBH, to volunteer and help others in any way I can.
When I am at an SBH event I feel like I’m home and I know this is where I belong and where I want to be. So thank you again . GO TEAM SBH!!