Cantor David and Debra Gorra Barash

David learned about the Israel Ride through Jimmy Rosenbloom, a former congregant and Israel Ride alum, and Debra drove a friend, Ros Roucher, to the airport for the first Israel Ride, and had wanted to participate since. In 2017, during a sabbatical we were able to spend in Israel, we decided to give the Israel Ride a try. We loved it so much we came back in 2019, and we are hooked in supporting the Israel Ride beneficiaries, the Arava Institute and Hazon — two great organizations that work toward environmental justice and bringing people together.

We have so many incredible memories from the Israel Ride: organizing and forming a team of local riders to support each other on group rides during training (and then be able to be in Israel together); seeing the Negev from a bike seat; all the stops along the way to take in the many parts of Israel, with the tour guides providing narratives; becoming a family of riders over the week and getting to know the Israel Ride crew and participants; and David’s parents joining us in 2019 for a multigenerational journey.

This year, we formed a team for the 2020 Virtual Israel Ride. Because we are not able to physically go to Israel this year, we felt it was still important to maintain our team connection and still support Hazon and the Arava Institute. In addition to it being a fun and easy way to stay connected and provide support, this is also an opportunity for people who were originally unable to join us in Israel this year to participate with us. In the midst of the pandemic, we’re grateful that the Israel Ride was able to offer an alternative option. We look forward to participating in the programming that will be offered as a great way to stay connected to Israel, our community, and the important work that the Israel Ride supports.

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