Dallas’ Run for Their Lives’ weekly walk to honor women hostages

By Leah Vann

When it comes to the Israel-Gaza war, sometimes, the best way Jews can demonstrate support is to show that they haven’t forgotten about their family overseas.

That’s the purpose of Run for Their Lives, a global campaign where local communities come together for a weekly walk to show their support for the roughly 100 hostages and the remains of 30 others in Hamas captivity.

So far, Texas plays host to four Run for Their Lives walks weekly across the state, located in Austin, Houston, University of North Texas and Dallas. But globally, this week’s walk holds a special meaning since it coincides with International Women’s Day: It will highlight the 14 women held hostage in Gaza.

“I think why I’m trying to get as many people as possible to this walk is just because of the horrible crimes that took place on Oct. 7 and knowing that they are probably happening to these women that are still there,” said Colette Lipszyc, a co-organizer of the walk.

Dallas’ walk, which takes place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, at Salado Park, was specifically started by Pam Goldminz, then Lipszyc joined to help. It’s a 1-kilometer walk, but before it starts, the group will take a video to send to the Run for Their Lives organization, which creates a video compilation of the walks taking place around the world to send to the hostages’ families.

And while the video is sent to families overseas, it’s not too far from home for members of the Dallas Jewish community. Lipszyc’s own cousin, Daniel Perez, is also among one of the hostages. LeElle Slifer’s cousin, Carmel Gat, is one of the women being held hostage by Hamas.

“People ask us, ‘Why don’t you do this in a more public place?’” Lipszyc said. “I think it just shows the families that we have not forgotten about them and that we’re still fighting for them and still trying to bring attention to the hostages.”

This Sunday, Slifer will be sharing her cousin’s story to those attending the walk. In addition, Israeli survivors of the Nova Dance and Music Festival will not only attend the walk, but will also be in town visiting to share their stories and spread awareness to local colleges and other Dallas communities.

The walk attracted a crowd of over 100 in early January to mark the 100th day since Israeli hostages were taken captive in Gaza. Lipszyc estimates that, depending on the weather, an average crowd of 30 will participate each week. But she hopes that the crowd for the women’s walk is bigger.

“It’s not a long walk. You don’t have to be a walker or a runner. It’s like 36 minutes total,” Lipszyc said.

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