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Author Archive | Hazon

From Mitzpe to Machtesh

It’s been a remarkable three days of biking, and I write to you now from Mitzpe Ramon, where Eliana has joined me for Shabbat. Surprisingly, I am only a little bit sore. I think that, somehow, I have acquired the resilient body—in addition to the face—of an 18-year old. I can only imagine that there must be an 18-year-old someplace who is stuck with the body of a 28-year-old…but I guess there’s not much I can do about that.

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Finally a Day of Rest: Shabbat on the Israel Ride

Friday was day three of the 2010 Israel Ride. One group rode 35 miles from Mashabei Sabe to Mitzpe Ramon, while another did the same with an additional 9-mile off road section on mountain bikes to Ein Akev, a desert spring. The group of the strongest cyclists rode 61 miles along the Egyptian border on an army patrol road. Apparently the Egyptian guards on the border were excited to see the parade of cyclists and waved at our men and women, serving as an unexpected source of encouragement. It was a challenging day for all, with many hills, all longer and steeper than we had yet encountered, standing between us and Mitzpe Ramon. With three days on the saddle, it was finally time to take one off and to celebrate Shabbat. (more…)

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Rider Spotlight: Chelsea Taxman

At any given rest stop, you’ll see riders splayed out on mats, rehydrating and munching on sweet and salty snacks–refueling, you might say. Look around, and you can literally see exhaustion…until suddenly, on the side, there’s a young woman hula hooping with just as much skill and ease as she rides a bike. Today we were both part of the Tzofim group, riding 70 miles (some of us averaging 14 mph!) from Ashkelon to Mashabei Sade in the northern Negev. Meet Chelsea! Tell us about yourself. I am a recent graduate of the Camassia Institute for Sustainable Communities where I received my Permaculture Design Certification.  Currently I am consulting in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska to provide the permaculture philosophy, dance, and nonviolent communication.  I am also a singer/songwriter and brand new cyclist.  The Israel Ride is my first multi-day ride! (more…)

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Who are the Israel Riders Anyway?

A big part of this ride is the people.  To be exact, we are 114 riders, a crew of alumni from the Arava Institute, mechanics, and incredible staff members from Hazon and the Arava Institute. Riders come from four countries–the US, Australia, Israel, and Canada 47 of the group are Israel Ride Alumni…while for 61 others, this is their first Hazon event We range in age from 12 to 74–with two young men celebrating their bar mitzvahs and three individuals older than 70 We are 83 men and 39 women 11 riders have never been to Israel before (more…)

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104 Kilometers Later…

Our journey began this morning at 6 am with the traditional Hazon Ride send-off of a shofar blast. 114 of us pedaled out of the parking lot of our hotel and through the not-quite-empty-enough streets of Jerusalem, passing important government buildings, The Israel Museum, and many confused Israelis. After speeding down some incredible downhills, we made it to our first pit stop, where two of our educators on the trip, Dr. Alon Tal, founder of the Arava Institute, and Bill Slott, a member of Kibbutz Ketura, shared stories of Jerusalem’s past and present with us. Bill explained that our journey from Jerusalem to Ashkelon was one between two ancient capitals–Jerusalem, the capital of the Israelites, and Ashkelon, the capital of the Philistines. Along the way would be the site of one of the most famous biblical stories, that of David and Goliath’s battle (Ha’Ela Valley). Talk about some old pavement…Alon told us of the city of Jerusalem’s goal to be the “cycling capital of Israel,” and the progress it has made on its light rail system. (more…)

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Eating for Cycling, Cycling for Eating

The Israel Ride is a partnership between The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, an environmental studies program in Israel, and Hazon, America’s largest Jewish environmental organization. Hazon does a ton of work around “food issues,” from our annual Food Conference to our network more than forty Community Supported Agriculture sites across North America–basically anywhere that Judaism and food intersect (which is practically everywhere), we talk about it. So, I would be remiss not to talk about my food experience in Israel so far. (more…)

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Morning in the Old City

The Western Wall is the remnant of Solomon’s Temple rebuilt by Herod before the exile in 70 C.E. It forms the edge of the Temple Mount – the site on which Jews believe Abraham was tested by God in the story of the sacrifice of Isaac, and on which was the Holy of Holies – the inner-most sanctuary of the Temple, entered only once a year, on Yom Kippur, and only by the High Priest.

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Bill Clinton, Fonzie, and me

The trip over was relatively easy. Two highlights include spotting Henry Winkler in the international terminal in Atlanta (a good omen, right?) and seeing cops biking around the airport. I was tempted to ask if I could take a spin–a few more training miles wouldn’t hurt, especially with the amount of rain we’ve had in NYC recently–but resisted.

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Arrival In Israel

We arrived three and a half weeks ago and have mostly settled in, aside from a few outstanding details about my study at Hebrew U’s beit midrash program. I’ve done a few training rides around Jerusalem, in between classes and things. A new friend here (Oren Hirsch, for those who know him) was kind enough to give me a Googlemap with several Jerusalem bike routes marked out on it.

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Agriprocessors Statement

CONSORTIUM OF JEWISH GROUPS RESPOND TO PLIGHT OF IMMIGRANT WORKERS IN POSTVILLE IN WAKE OF FEDERAL RAID ON AGRIPROCESSORS ENDORSE HEKHSHER TZEDEK NEW ETHICAL CERTIFICATION INITIATIVE OF THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:Heather Wolfson                               hwolfson@mazon.org New York, NY (June 27, 2008) – In the wake of last month’s federal raid on the Agriprocessors meat processing facility in Postville, Iowa, where hundreds of illegal immigrants were arrested, a consortium of Jewish groups devoted to social justice have issued a statement calling for a response to the “human tragedy” of the raid and urging cooperation to work towards a “long term structural change,” within the kosher meat industry. (more…)

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The Jew and the Carrot in the News

Of Church and Steak: Farming for the SoulNew York Times By: Joan NathanHow Kosher Was Your Turkey? Wall Street Journal By: Julie Weiner The Central Role of Food in Jewish Life The Jerusalem Report By: Leonard Felson Can You Be a Kosher Locavore? The NY Jewish Week By: Sandee Brawarsky Yom Kippur Food & Fasting Express Night Out (Washington Post) By: Stefanie Gans Noted. Keeping Kosher The Nation By: Naomi Sobel A Sustainable Passover The Daily Green Thinking Outside the Bun New Jersey Jewish News By: Jeffery Yoskowitz Advice from Modern Jewish Mom Modern Jewish Mom Interview: Leah Koenig Profile: Midtown Lunch’er Midtown Lunch Blog Nagila Goes Kosher Star News Online By: Liz Biro Garden Feast Hadassah Magazine By: Adeena Sussman It’s Not Easy Being Green World Jewish Digest By: Rachel Burstyn Culinary Corner: Green Cuisine American Jewish Living By: Lilit Marcus Holy Kale New York Jewish Week By: Elicia Brown Eco-Ushpizin: Women Take on the Environment Lilith Magazine Ed. Rabbi Susan Schnur Greening of Passover Augusta Chronicle By: Kelly Jasper

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