Jonathan Feldstein started "Run for Zion" two years ago as part of his mission to connect Christians and Jews, giving them a chance to run or walk together in the Jerusalem Marathon – next set for March 20, 2020 – and make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to bless the nation where Christianity was birthed over 2,000 years ago.
Feldstein, who is an Orthodox Jew and lives in Efrat, told Fox News he's not a runner but his passion to bring believers to the Jewish State as part of his Genesis 123 Foundation, which is based on the verse in Genesis that says, "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
"We're offering a unique Christian experience," Feldstein said. "It's a pilgrimage and service experience, so people see and come to interact with the land and the people, and experience and volunteer with the projects that we're funding."
Participants get a chance to meet Holocaust survivors, feed the hungry, experience Shabbat and worship services, as well as go on exclusive Bible tours.
The experience promises believers a chance to experience the ancient and modern Holy Land and "bless Israel with every step."
One of the participants from last year's trip, Elizabeth Wong, told Fox News: "As a Christian runner, there is no more spiritually meaningful place to run."
"My favorite part was running in the Old City and coming out of the Zion Gate, seeing the Mount of Olives," she said. "Usually tourists and vendors crowd through the ancient stone paths, but for Jerusalem Marathon, I could run through the historic roads unhindered and see amazing views while hearing the crowd cheer us on."
Wong is running again in 2020 to honor the memory of her grandmother, who passed away this year, as well as bring a team of runners and non-runners alike to the "race of a lifetime."
Having already raised over $2,000 for Run For Zion, Wong describes the event as a pilgrimage that builds community and offers a chance to build camaraderie between the Jewish and Christian communities.
Feldstein said, depending on how much a participant raises on the crowdfunding page, a portion of their trip may be subsidized up to potentially free.