Israel’s First Lady Michal Herzog welcomed Uncommon Giving Chief Investment Advisor Eric Rubin, to the Beit Nassi last month to discuss philanthropic trends among American Jews and to thank him for his support in bringing Avi Solomon, a blind Israeli runner, to participate in the Abu Dhabi Marathon. Uncommon Giving is a one-of-a-kind generosity platform where financial services and social responsibility intersect.

The meeting was arranged by the Gulf-Israel Women’s Forum, a division of the UAE-Israel Business Council, which arranged and coordinated Solomon’s participation in the marathon with support from Uncommon Giving and others. The UAE-Israel Business Council is the leading business association helping to build ties that promote trade, innovation, and cooperation. Established in 2020 by business and public sector leaders from the UAE and Israel, its members include over 7,500 entrepreneurs, investors, NGOs and government agencies and experts.

The Ethiopian-born runner placed 62 out of 12,000 in the November 26, 2021, ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, making headlines in the United Arab Emirates as one of Israel’s first athletes, and likely its first handicapped one, to compete in a sporting event following the UAE and Israel signing the historic Abraham Accords.

Solomon chose to use the marathon as an opportunity to raise funds for Afikim, a nonprofit that empowers at-risk children and their parents in Israel with tools to help them escape the cycle of poverty. In partnering with Uncommon Giving, the 38-year-old father of seven, who would make worldwide headlines, was able to become an ambassador for good. The partnership was able to yield thousands of dollars for the organization.

“Running has taught me many lessons over the years, but for me, one of the most important ones has been choosing the right partner who serves as my eyes on the road,” said Solomon. “I have been fortunate enough to have an incredible team behind me through the run and am extremely grateful to Uncommon Giving for being an incredible teammate in helping me to help Afikim.”

Since returning from Abu Dhabi, Solomon has continued to train and hopes to return to the Gulf region for future marathons.

“Avi is an incredible person who’s overcome adversity for most of his life proving that despite the challenges we encounter in life, that tenacity can truly accomplish wonderful things,” said Rubin. “We are very appreciative to the UAE-Israel Business Council for inviting us to participate in this historic event and we were thrilled to partner with Avi and look forward to supporting him in his future campaigns.”

“During the meeting with First Lady Herzog, we discussed the opportunity for sports and philanthropy and how marathons like this are a way for people to raise funds for worthy organizations. With a new generation of young Jewish philanthropic individuals coming up, it was a wonderful opportunity to share with her the trends we are seeing regarding where they are passionate about donating and sports is one of those sectors. The next generation of American Jewish philanthropists continue to have Israel high on their priority list and during our conversation, we discussed ways we can include them in opportunities to support Israel further,” added Rubin.

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Uncommon Giving, the Generosity Company™, is a digital-first technology and financial services company changing the way companies and their people give time and money to make an impact on the world. Its mission is to awaken generosity and take the friction out of charitable giving. For corporations, Uncommon’s Workplace Generosity solution reinforces corporate social responsibility programs, inspires employee engagement, and works like a 401k for giving. The Company’s leadership brings decades of experience in financial services, technology, investments, and nonprofit management. For more information, please visit
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