We invite you to take part in a journey from Jerusalem to Eilat to explore Jewish identity, history, and spirituality as our son Levi Schirch Goldberg becomes a bar mitzvah in November 2017.
Our family will be biking 200 miles to raise funds for two charities that work on issues that Levi and our family care about as part of the annual Israel Ride. We are grateful for your support and donations of any size.
The primary beneficiary is the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, the premier environmental teaching and research program in the Middle East, preparing future Arab and Jewish leaders to cooperatively solve the region’s environmental challenges. You can learn more at http://www.arava.org.
The second beneficiary is Hazon, the largest Jewish environmental organization in the United States. Hazon means "vision" and it works for “tikkun olam” or repairing the world through social justice efforts and building a more sustainable world for all. You can learn more at www.hazon.org.
Both organizations are registered as 501c3 charities, and all donations are 100% tax deductible.
Our family will be living and traveling throughout the Middle East from September to December 2017 while leading a study abroad program for 20 students from Eastern Mennonite University. In September, we will be living and studying at the Arava Institute located on Kibbutz Ketura. Levi will take part in the group's Hebrew lessons and learn more about Judaism and Jewish history. In October we will live in Bethlehem and travel around the West Bank. In November, we will live in Jerusalem and explore both history and options for a peaceful and just future.
The bike ride also helps to mark Lisa's 50th birthday on October 16.
The bike trip will take place the first week in November 1-7. A rabbi and guides will accompany us. We’ll have a special Shabbat service and begin and end each day with a Jewish ritual and prayer service. Levi will be able to participate in these services in a special way as part of becoming a bar mitzvah.
Our family has committed to raising $11,000 for Hazon and the Arava Institute. Over the next months, we will be training by taking both short and long bicycle rides to build our endurance for the trip. We’ll be sending photographs and stories of this preparation journey.
To express our gratitude, Levi came up with these ideas for how he can thank you and how you can share the journey with him:
• Everyone who donates or expresses support can have access to Levi’s private blog, where he will be posting photos and writing about what he learns
• Donate between $25 to $200 and Levi will bring you a gift of art from Jerusalem
• Donate between $200 and $500, and Levi will send a video of him reciting a prayer along with hand-painted tiles with your first or last name in Hebrew letters from Jerusalem
• Donate more than $500 and we’ll have you over to our house for dinner and show you a slideshow of the bike ride - Or we’ll send you a special thank you gift
Let us know your questions! We look forward to sharing the trip with you.
With your generosity and our pedaling, we can support these important organizations and their mission.
You can donate by credit card by clicking the “Donate now” button at the top of the page or send us a check made out to "Friends of the Arava Institute." Our address is: 2628 Eversole Road, Rockingham, Virginia 22802
We will keep you posted on our training along the way. This summer we are biking 20-30 miles per week as a family. And we are planning on sending regular e-mails from the road during the trip.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Bill Goldberg, Lisa Schirch, and Miranda and Levi Goldberg