“I lived in Israel for two years and have been there numerous times both before and since, but never had I seen Israel as I saw it on the amazing Arava Institute and Hazon Israel Ride,” declared Rabbi Marc Soloway, a two-time alumnus of the Israel Ride.
The Israel Ride is October 30 – November 6th and Team Colorado is coming together with several riders already registered. When asked why she wants to go on the ride, Loveland’s Jillene Moore explains, “It’s all about love. I fell in love with Hazon at their recent Boulder food conference,” and the Ride is a perfect opportunity that falls at the intersection of her passions around composting, gardening, peace (“Arava’s programs to promote a peaceful way of working together to preserve Israel’s ecologies is just brilliant”), connecting with others, and a recent, new affection for cycling.
This year, the route explores the different regions of Israel. We start with two days up north cycling through the forests of the Galil, on the slopes of the Golan Heights, and around the Kinneret. We then continue with three riding days down south, traversing the expanse of the Negev Desert and Arava Valley, ending in Eilat. The ride includes a day of orientation (at a kibbutz on the Mediterranean Sea), a rest day over Shabbat (in Mitzpe Ramon in the desert) and a finale on the shore of the Red Sea.
We are offering three route options – a standard route (55 miles a day), a challenging option (70 miles) and a touring group (40 miles plus afternoon touring). Each day is fully supported with rest stops and mechanics, and your accommodations and all food is provided. In addition, throughout the ride there are ample opportunities to learn about environmental issues in the region as well as the work of the Arava Institute and Hazon in this sector.
Jeff Greenberg, Boulder, is going on the Israel Ride because of Hazon’s work impacting how Jews view the production, delivery and consumption of food and the Arava Institute of Environmental Studies’ regionally cooperative approach to critical environmental issues. Jeff, the founder and executive director of The Kitchen Coop, is eager to share and expand his cooperative model to Israel and learn from and partner with those in the region on becoming as water efficient as possible.
There are scholarships available for riders who have not been to Israel in at least five years or who are visiting for the first time. And, the Oreg Foundation has generously pledged $360 toward the fundraising goal of each Team Colorado rider!
Riders of all ages and abilities are invited to join Team Colorado for an amazing experience! It begins at home with training rides and get-togethers, ramps up on arrival with the Team Colorado pre-ride party in Israel, and continues on the road as we share our daily laughs, learning, libation, check-ins and friendly support. But once back home, it’s been a game-changer in our riders’ ongoing connection with Jewish community and Judaism, as many riders have gone on to local leadership positions, deepening Jewish education and personal/family practice, first-time organizational involvement, Israel issues advocacy, and even taking up residence in Israel.
Rabbi Soloway sums up his experience:
Riding through these ancient biblical landscapes on a bicycle opens the senses to many new experiences. Dayenu! This would be enough, and yet the ride also raises money for an institution, which is doing more for both the environment and grass roots peace building in the Middle East than any that I know. Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian alumni of the Arava Institute crew the ride and bring a very special energy, and that, along with great food, ensure this ride being up there in the top adventures of my life!”