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Sunday, April 05, 2020

On Thursday, February 6, The Young Israel of Teaneck invites women of the greater community to Sunday Night Learning featuring Beatie Deutsch, an Israeli national marathon champion and Olympic candidate. Deutsch will share her story of empowerment as an Orthodox mother of five raising a family while pursuing her passion of running.

Originally from New Jersey, Deutsch said she was always athletic, but the reality of raising a family and managing everyday life consumed much of her time and energy––a lifestyle that felt like a marathon in and of itself, she joked. About four years ago she decided it was time to also focus on self-care, so she hit the ground running––literally.

She ran in the Tel-Aviv marathon in 2016 and again in 2017, when she was seven months pregnant with her fifth child. In 2018 she won the Jerusalem marathon and then the half marathon. This year she won the Tiberias marathon, with a finishing time of 2 hours, 42 minutes and 8 seconds.

Deutsch is excited to share her story with women in the community and will offer strategies to help those looking to successfully raise a family while pursuing a career. She will share five tools people can use to achieve their goals, which is an outline based on her experience running five marathons.

“A marathon is a metaphor for life,” Deutsch said. She believes her experiences from each run are very much connected to Hashem and the Torah.

Deutsch, whose legal name is Beatrice, is known to many of her friends and followers as “Speedy Beatie,” a nickname she said she proudly earned with Hashem’s help.

“We can go our whole lives without uncovering our talents,” said Deutsch. “We all have a unique way to contribute to the world and make a difference for the Jewish people.”

For her, running presented a clear path to self-actualization and has enabled her to influence others and advocate for causes that she believes are important.

Two years ago Deutsch started a campaign for Beit Daniella, a rehabilitative recovery day center for youth who are struggling with mental health issues. Her aunt created the organization after the unfortunate death of her daughter, Daniella Pardes, who struggled with anorexia.

“My aunt is a remarkable person and I am privileged to spread awareness and raise funds for this tremendous cause,” Deutsch said.

According to Deutsch, there is a growing need for organizations like Beit Daniella that empower young people who are facing serious challenges in life. Deutsch won the Jerusalem marathon that year and raised more than 50,000 NIS for the organization.

On her journey to being recognized as a world class distance runner, Deutsch sees a far greater dream that running has allowed her to fulfill.

“I connect with all different people when I run, many of whom have little or no affiliation to Judaism,” she said.

She shares with them her personal practices, confiding that she often speaks to Hashem as she runs. She is overjoyed that many people have changed their own outlook on Judaism because of her inspiration.

“The victory I feel from spreading love and bringing people closer to Hashem is second to none,” said Deutsch. That, she believes, is the ultimate win.

The Sunday Night Learning Program is in memory of Dvora Golowa, z”l, and will take place at the Young Israel of Teaneck, 868 Perry lane at 7:30 p.m.

By Andrea Nissel