Sholom Riders Crush the Israel Ride!
As you know, Marsha and I rode together 165 miles on bicycles throughout the south of Israel as part of the annual five-day Israel Ride, sponsored by Hazon and the Arava Institute. Both organizations do sacred work in promoting health, harmony and green energy. They provide a space for incredible young adults of all faiths to put their minds to work and come up with solutions to some of the most vexing challenges facing Israel and the world today.
Our journey began in Jerusalem and took us through a number of towns, finally ending up in Eilat. The scenery we rode through was breath-taking and the cherry on top was doing it all with our dear members Louis Naviasky and his sweet friend Ivan, Rebecca and Morty Schaja and Lisa Blaustein. The Samuel’s from Shelter rock Jewish Center joined our group as well and we all had great fun whizzing up and down the rolling hills of the Negev, sometimes riding on major roads assisted by the police and sometimes riding through pastoral kibbutzim where the smell of cow manure almost knocked us off our bikes…lol.
This annual ride is, of course, a significant fundraiser for these two institutions. The amount of work and effort that goes into planning and executing it is mind-boggling. The details include coordinating with the various police, army and security forces to keep us all safe, to making sure that all 160 riders have a room to sleep in every night. When our buses finally dropped us off at our hotels or hostels every evening, our keys were waiting for us and our luggage was already in our rooms. Every detail was taken care of and this is all because they appreciate the efforts we made in raising the money they need to continue their work in improving the environment in Israel, both agriculturally and politically. The Arava Institute purposely offers an environment of equality and tolerance for Arabs, Christians and Jews to learn from each other and work together on solutions because they all understand that Israel is a small country, even including Gaza, and a clean environment doesn’t differentiate between people of different faiths. It affects everyone the same way and they are ALL responsible for its health.
Therefore, Marsha and I would like to take this opportunity for allowing us to complete this amazing mission. Joining the ride meant that we committed to a significant threshold of funds raised and we couldn’t have reached our goal without each and every one of you that donated generously in our honor. We truly appreciate it and please know that your funds are being used for amazing purposes that embrace the ideals of love and unity in a land that desperately needs it.
We hope that next time we attempt it, many more of you will join us.
Go Sholom Riders!!!
Cantor Ofer Barnoy
To read more monthly news, read our most recent Bulletin-Jan-Feb-2020.