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
Executive Director, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
David Lehrer 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 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!
Israel Ride Crew Leader
Lindsey Zemler is originally from Boulder, Colorado, and has been involved with Arava Institute since 2010, in various roles on campus, on the bike ride and in the alumni community. Lindsey has an M.Sc. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management and has worked in sustainability education, community project management, and environmental resource management. She has lived (and worked on environmental topics) in Hungary, Sweden, Greece, Israel, Colorado and Cape Cod.
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. 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 has a diverse background, including 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. 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 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!
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. Previously, she lived in New York City and was a Vice President at Citibank. 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.
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.
Development Manager, Friends of the Arava Institute
Rachel Comstock has 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.
Communications and Development Associate, Friends of the Arava Institute
Rachel has a background in international nonprofit work and study abroad in the Middle East. She most recently worked at AMIDEAST, where she sent American students to study abroad programs in the Arabic-speaking world, and she has also interned with the Director of Development at Refugees International. Rachel has worked in China and the Netherlands and has studied in Morocco, Egypt, and Jordan. She has a BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.