I am riding in the 2019 IsraelRide, as a follow up to my 2016 participation. Let me tell you why.
Many of you know about my passion for road biking. I also love the outdoors and support sustainable, environmentally-sound living and causes. Plus, now more than ever, environmental projects that foster cooperation between Israel and other countries in the region need our support.
In 2016, I participated in IsraelRide for the first time, and now am returning for more. I'm returning for a couple of reasons. First, IsraelRide is an epic 350-mile road bike adventure across Israel's Negev Desert, traveling south from Jerusalem to Eilat over 5 days of riding. The Negev is one of the world's most beautiful, unpredictable, and challenging deserts. IsraelRide is an awesome way to experience world-class road biking there, along with music, recreation, and educational programming. The ride is fully supported with nightly lodging (no tents!), excellent fresh and healthy food, rest stops, lead riders, enthusiastic comraderie, mechanics, van pickups, and more. It's a great experience all around.
But second, and even more important, IsraelRide raises significant funds for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (www.arava.org), an organization that I've supported for several years. The Institute, located at Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava region of the Negev, is a world-class academic and research facility that develops and implements environmental projects and programs (involving water, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and more), in concert with scientists, policy makers, and activists from the region and around the world. Courses at the Institute (which I attended in 2016) are cross-cultural, connecting Israelis, Jordanians, Palestinians and international students of all faiths and political persuasions. With environmental science, engineering, and activism serving as the common passion among the diverse students and faculty, the Institute is in a unique position to promote coexistence, joint confidence-building efforts, and peace. (IsraelRide also supports Hazon (www.hazon.org), a US-based organization with the same goals.)
While in 2016 I sought sponsorship funding from friends and family, this year to show my personal commitment I've elected to self-fund my participation (a minimum of $3950 was required). Because I've crossed this minimum threshold, there is no particular "ask" associated with this message in connection with facilitating my participation. However, many of you have heard me promote the timely, important, and pathbreaking work of the Institute over the years, so I encourage you to contribute generously to this very worthy cause. (Also, because I've self-funded my trip this year, 100% of your support will go to the programs.) At the top of this page, simply click "donate now" and follow the prompts.
Thank you for taking the time to visit this page, and for your support!
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