Founder & Chairman, Israel Ride
Howie Rodenstein is an avid Zionist and cyclist. Howie founded the Ride in 2002, to show solidarity with Israel at a very difficult time and to raise money for two very special organizations that make a real difference in the world. He has chaired and participated in the Ride every year – and considers himself lucky to have met so many incredible people along the way. Howie is also a board member of Hazon, the Friends of the Arava Institute, and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. Howie grew up in Young Judaea, earned his MBA from Harvard Business school, and has lived in Israel for over seven years at various times from ages 18 – 42. He has also been active in his local Jewish community. He is married with 2 children, of whom he is exceedingly proud.
Vice Chair, Israel Ride
David Eisenberg has been Vice Chair of the Israel Ride since 2012 and Captain of Team JNF on the Israel Ride since 2005. His primary responsibility is the lay leadership of the Israel Ride’s recruiting and growth strategy. David is on the Boards of the Friends of the Arava Institute (FAI) and JNF New England. He is a past Board member of Temple Aliyah of Needham, MA and the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston. In addition to the Israel Ride, David is Captain of Team ASPS (Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma) on the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) and an annual participant in Cycle for Survival. David is a graduate of Beloit College and Harvard Business School. He and his wife, Fran Caplan, are the proud parents of Adam, Benji, Sara, and Josh.
Arava Institute of Environmental Studies
David Lehrer, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Executive Director, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
David Lehrer is the Executive Director of the Arava Institute. He grew up in North Carolina, made aliyah in 1978, and is a member of Kibbutz Ketura. David is married to Barbara Pinsker and has 3 daughters who all live in Israel. He has an MA in Management Science from Boston University and Ben Gurion University. He researches sustainable development and the economics of nature protection in Israel.
Avigail Ben Yohanan
Israel Ride Director
Avigail Ben Yohanan is the Israel Ride Director. She comes from the world of informal education and logistics, and has a Masters Degree in environmental geography. A tenth-generation Jerusalemite, Avigail now lives on Kibbutz Ketura with her husband and daughter. She is loving the craziness of working on the Israel Ride and looks forward to meeting all the Riders who make it happen!
Nigel Savage, Hazon
Founder & President, Hazon
Nigel Savage, originally from Manchester, England, founded Hazon in 2000, with a Cross-USA Jewish Environmental Bike Ride. Nigel has spoken, taught, or written for a wide and significant range of audiences. (A selection of his essays are at hazon.org/nigel). He has twice been named a member of the Forward 50, the annual list of the 50 most influential Jewish people in the United States, and is a recipient of the Bernard Reisman Award. He has given Commencement speeches at Wagner (NYU, in 2011) and at Hornstein (Brandeis, in 2014). In 2015 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Jewish Theological Seminary. Before founding Hazon, Nigel was a professional fund manager in London, where he worked for NM Rothschild and was co-head of UK Equities at Govett. He has an MA in History from Georgetown, and has learned at Pardes, Yakar, and the Hebrew University. He was a founder of Limmud NY, and serves on the board of Romemu. Nigel executive produced the British independent movies Solitaire For 2 and Stiff Upper Lips and had an acclaimed cameo appearance in the cult Anglo-Jewish comic movie, Leon The Pig Farmer. He is believed to be the first English Jew to have cycled across South Dakota on a recumbent bike.
Director of Rides, Hazon
Miriam Leichtling is the Director of Bike Rides at Hazon. Miriam‘s background includes running her own jewelry company, five years of program development in the Jewish non-profit world, and eight years of marketing/business development on the Israeli start-up scene. Miriam enjoys hosting Shabbat dinners, traveling, yoga, cycling, and cranking out burpees at her Crossfit box.
Associate Director of Rides, Hazon
Jessie grew up in the Habonim Dror youth movement and has worked in the Jewish non-profit world for over ten years. Her commitment to the global Jewish community has led her to many wonderful experiences, such as managing the New York Admissions Office of the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and holding positions on the Executive Staff in Habonim Dror North America’s National Office and Habonim Dror Camp Na’aleh. She loves getting to know people from around the world, traveling, and spending time with her husband and two cats in Brooklyn.
Program and Logistics Coordinator of Rides, Hazon
Carlee Rosenthal is the Program and Logistics Coordinator of Bike Rides for Hazon. She grew in New Jersey, attended the University of Michigan, and now resides in Brooklyn. Her passion for all things biking stems from her summer with Bike & Build, where she cycled from NC to San Diego. She is so excited to share in this incredible experience with everyone!
Communications Coordinator of Rides, Hazon
Khylie Gardner is the Communication Coordinator for Rides at Hazon. She graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with an MSc in Marketing for Festivals and Events and now works to create innovative strategies to drive engagement for Hazon’s bike rides. She is passionate about empowering local businesses and communities. When not in the office, Khylie enjoys traveling, crocheting, and hanging out with animals.
Friends of the Arava Institute
Executive Director, Friends of the Arava Institute
Miriam S. May most recently served as the Director of Institutional Advancement at Harvard Hillel. Previously she served as the founding Managing Director of the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University and as Executive Director of the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Massachusetts. Miriam founded SMART Consulting in 1994 and for ten years provided marketing and outreach consulting to a wide range of non-profits and financial institutions including Fleet Bank, Deutsche Bank, Hadassah, United Way of America, Oxfam America, and others. In Rhode Island, she was Senior Vice President of United Way of Southeastern New England. Previously, she lived in New York City and was a Vice President at Citibank. Miriam was also a Principal Consultant with Charter Associates, a World Bank consultant to the Ministry of Labor of Brazil and Area Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean for the US Department of Labor. Miriam has an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Labor Relations/Organizational Behavior from Cornell University. She is married to Shaye Cohen and they have four children.
Business Manager, Friends of the Arava Institute
Diana Webster brings a great breadth of experiences to Friends of Arava Institute and her position as Business Manager. After completing her BA in Philosophy and Peace Studies from Bucknell University, she traveled to Northern Ireland to study Peace and Conflict Studies at University of Ulster – Magee College. While living overseas she interned at INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute) in their Public Policy Unit assisting with research projects and administrative tasks. In 2009, Diana lived in and worked for Wahat al-Salam/Neve Shalom, an intentional community of Palestinian and Jewish citizens in Israel where she supported communications and fundraising efforts. Before becoming part of the Friends of the Arava Institute’s staff, Diana worked for various organizations focusing on international development and the building of sustainable societies throughout the Middle East.
Development Manager, Friends of the Arava Institute
Rachel Comstock joins the Friends of the Arava Institute with a long background of Jewish educational programming and development. Most recently, Rachel worked in the development department at Young Judaea where she implemented and strengthened their fundraising management systems and alumni relationships. Rachel has studied in both Israel and the Netherlands and holds a BA in Anthropology from Brandeis University.
Executive Administrator, Friends of the Arava Institute
Amy has been involved in many aspects of the not-for-profit world and brings this diverse experience to her role as Executive Administrator. Most recently she focused on building a set of community centers in Bamyan, Afghanistan, and helped to develop programs that offer education, employment, fresh produce, sanitary facilities, and a sense of community to the women in the area. Amy’s desire to foster positive connections and derail negative cycles is a common theme in much of her work. She welcomes the opportunity to utilize her experience in administration, marketing, organizational branding, event planning, and project management on behalf of the Arava Institute.