Notes from Team Mandell JCC, from West Hartford, CT
As we started our journey from Jerusalem on day 1 of the ride, it was apparent that there are some great leaders in the group of riders. Our own team member Bruce is one of those legendary ride leaders who is loved and respected by many! Bruce was asked to start the ride by reading the “Travelers Prayer” and another team member, Spencer, was asked to blow the Shofar.
As we began our treacherous decent out of the Jerusalem area, Bruce stayed with team members Annie and Allison who needed a little support navigating the dangerous terrain. Once the girls got their “bike legs” under them, Bruce was off to help a rider who was seriously injured. All along the first day’s route Bruce was there to cheer people on, sing to them as they rode and help everyone see the joy and hope of this journey. We are so lucky to have Bruce in our community!
Along the way we also began to ride with, eat with and tour with the staff members and alumni of Arava and Hazon. Hearing their stories and how they are using their education to better the environment and peace process is truly inspirational. They are really introducing us to the environment, partnerships and Israel in ways we hadn’t imagined!
During pit stops and lunch breaks the crew feeds us,waters us and pumps up our tires and spirits like we never imagined, showing off the Jewish value of Hachnasat Orchim (Hospitality/Welcoming Guests).
We are all so honored and happy to be here biking for these great causes and these amazing people!