Topic: Israel Ride


Reflections from Israel & a Critical Error of Omission in the American Jewish Community

By Nigel Savage Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | 15th Cheshvan 5780 Dear All, I got an inexpensive Airbnb near the marina in Ashkelon, to decompress for a day after the Israel Ride and to catch up with some work and write this email. Right now I’m in the marina. Totally deserted. There were more than 200 missiles shot out of Gaza, yesterday and today, and everything in the south – schools, shops, businesses – is closed. I’m one of just two customers in the only café open here. It is quieter, far quieter, than Israel on Yom Kippur. It is strange to sit in an apartment, as I was doing a couple of hours ago; hear a siren go off; and then walk a few feet into the room which is a miklat, a sealed shelter, as one is instructed to do. Then a few seconds later you hear a boom go off, quite close by, presumably an Iron Dome intercepting the incoming missile. Before walking to the marina I was asking a friend in Kfar Saba what the custom was if you’re in the street when a siren goes off. She said, look, you have to duck and try to get cover, because you may […]

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I’m in Israel with our largest ever Israel Ride – 219 participants, plus more than 60 crew and staff members. Six of our riders live in Pittsburgh, two are members of the shul that was attacked, and many more grew up in Pittsburgh or have spent much of their lives there. One person lost one of his closest friends. Two of our riders were married by someone who was shot and had an operation yesterday and is in hospital right now. So – we are a long way away, and it feels very very close. I and all of us send love and condolences to everyone in Pittsburgh and to everyone who is mourning. And, in a different sense, to everyone in the Jewish community and everyone in America who is appalled and shocked that we have reached this point. This morning we stood together overlooking Machtesh Ramon and we sang Eitz Chayim Hi – the words that we read before returning the Torah to the ark on Shabbat morning, the tune that is so beautiful and well-loved. Shuls will be packed next Shabbat morning, across America – shuls should be packed, next Shabbat morning, across America – and I suspect the most intense moment will be […]

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When Israel Isn’t a Black and White Story

Marcy Perlman Tardio rode on the 2014 Arava Institute & Hazon Israel Ride. She is a mother, grandmother, and homebirth midwife living in Brooklyn. This piece was originally published online at on December 1st, 2014. Many within my multi-cultural circle of family and friends refused to support my participation in a charity bike ride in Israel, an ‘oppressor’ and ‘colonialist’ state. The year following my kidney transplant, over a decade ago, I rode in the Hazon charity bike ride in New York. I rode then to honor my older son, who had gifted me the kidney, and to celebrate my new-found health. Through the organizers I learned of a counterpart ride that took place in Israel; several weeks ago, I returned from the Hazon-Arava bike ride, where I completed 230 miles from Jerusalem to Eilat. Despite the challenges of the heat and the terrain, my most unexpected difficulty had emerged before I even sat in the saddle: Persuading my peers to donate to a charity effort that would take place in Israel. At the time of my first ride I had joined a synagogue. My younger son already attended Jewish day school. I, the daughter of culturally Jewish, left wing, secular […]

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Celebrating in Eilat & Why you Should Join Us Next Year!

We did it! Riding from Jerusalem to Eliat in a week’s time, this year’s Israel Ride community has an incredible journey. On our final day of riding, participants cycled into Eliat and along the coast before joining staff and crew for a beach celebration. Registration for the 2015 Israel Ride is open and I encourage anyone interested to sign-up now! The ride will run October 27th through November 3rd 2015. If you sign up now you will receive an early registration discount, a complimentary Israel Ride wind breaker and a guaranteed spot on the 2015 Israel Ride. Click here to register now! Still not convinced? Check out these rider blogs from this year to read more about the experience! Thank you for reading! Hope to see you next year.

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Riding to the Arava Institute

After a restful Shabbat riders returned to their bikes to complete the final two days of riding on the Israel Ride. Starting the day with an incredible sunrise and descent from Mitzpe Ramon, participants rode through the desert to Kibbutz Ketura, the home of the Arava Institute. Throughout the week riders have had the opportunity to meet Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians – Arava Institute and Hazon alumni on the Israel Ride crew who are working towards peace, environmental sustainability, and regional cooperation. These alumni have shared their stories throughout the week and today our Israel Ride community was able to visit the faculty and staff who supported them along their way.

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The Beauty of the Israel Ride

Yesterday the Israel Ride entered the heart of the desert. Participants rode past magnificent desert vistas and ate lunch at Sde Boker, the burial place of David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel. While the Shomrim hiked to a beautiful desert spring in the afternoon, the Chalutzim took a detour to the Egyptian border. All three groups were greeted at the end of the day by one of the most breath-taking sites of the trip, Mitzpe Ramon. After three days of riding, our community is enjoying a restful and rejuvenating Shabbat. Today riders have the option to participate in communal prayer, discussions, hikes and yoga. After lunch there will also be opportunities to learn more about the work of Hazon and the Arava Institute. These organizations encourage sustainability, peace and service in Israel and America. The Arava Institute exists to ensure that the world’s environmental resource challenges are a catalyst for dialogue, cooperation and trust among people. Located in Southern Israel, this specialized academic institute prepares young Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian and international leaders to cooperatively address the region’s environmental needs. Hazon similarly promotes sustainability by creating healthier communities in the Jewish world and beyond. Hazon does so by […]

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