Friday, November 18, 2016

This Never Gets Old

I am still basking in the glow of completing my 11th Israel Ride. It was amazing - this just doesn't get old! I rode just over 280 miles, traveling from Jerusalem to Eilat with 177 riders, 12 chaverim, and over 60 staff and crew. It was the largest group the Israel Ride has ever brought together in Israel, all riding and working in support of the environmental leadership and peace building work of the Arava Institute and Hazon. It was an honor to serve as vice-chair of the ride and chair of Team JNF.

Of particular importance to me, on this year's ride, was the opportunity to help lead the dedication of Guy's Amphitheater, built at the Arava Institute in memory of my nephew, Guy Bar-Yosef, and in honor of the Israel Ride. The amphitheater is a living tribute to Guy's life, work, and commitment to Israel.  The dedication was made even more special by the attendance of Guy's family.

Each Israel Ride becomes a rolling community, working together in support of an amazing journey and the work of the Arava Institute and Hazon.  I was truly fortunate, on this year's ride, to also be joined by my nephew, Michael Eisenberg.   Michael volunteered time away from his professional videography work ( to join the imaging team on the 2016 Israel Ride.  Just wait till you see some of what Michael and the rest of the PR/Imaging team are producing!

The Israel Ride renews my connection to the state of Israel and broadens my understanding of the region, as I meet Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians working towards peace, environmental sustainability, and regional cooperation. I returned home with new insights, new friends, and an exceptional way to stay connected to Israel in the months and years ahead.

Finally, each Israel Ride is a reminder to me of how fortunate I am to be part of this community.   It is a community that was a constant source of strength and support through my two bouts with cancer.   Scarcely a moment of the ride goes by without me being reminded and aware of how fortunate I am to be riding, cancer free, 4 1/2 years after the end of my treatment.  There were extra special reminders this year, as so many PMC (Pan-Mass Challenge) riders were also on the Israel Ride.  I'm well aware that I am one of many Israel Riders who are riding, in part, in celebration of their survival of cancer and other serious personal or health challenges.  It is a truly amazing and inspiring community to be part of.

I rode the compete ride proudly flying an Israeli flag that included the names of donor to my ride. I also planted a tree, in a JNF forest, in honor of each donor.

I encourage anyone who is interested to sign-up for this truly exceptional journey. To find out more about the Israel Ride, visit the Israel Ride website and be sure to "like" the Israel Ride Facebook Page as more details from the road and photos from each day are still being added! If you want to experience the Israel Ride for yourself next year it will run from October 31 - November 7, 2017. Registration is already open! I've already registered and will, again, ride as part of Team JNF. I hope that you will join me!


Bruce Stanger said...

David you make a real difference in my life and the the lives of many on the ride.
Thanks for all you do.

Haldon Bryer said...

Thanks for getting me on the Ride, you are an inspiration. Looking forward to sharing many more Israel Ride experiences together in the future.