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Atlantan to Participate in The 2006 Arava Institute Hazon Israel Bike Ride

Cycling for Peace, Partnership and Environmental Protection

Contact: Steven Green • JNF Director, Southeast Region • 404-236-8991 •

PR PortMay 2, 2006 --  New York,NY -- May 8 will bring several firsts into Robert Port’s life. It will be the first time he visits Israel and the first time he participates in a fundraising bike ride. Jewish National Fund, through its participation in the 2006 Arava Institute Hazon Israel Bike Ride, is making both firsts happen.

“My personal preference is to visit a place and experience it rather than see it riding in an air-conditioned tour bus,” said the 48-year-old attorney and Atlanta resident who took up biking about one year ago. “I had been planning on participating in a fundraising ride in Lake Tahoe , but when Michael Miller, JNF’s Southeast president, approached me about this, I decided Lake Tahoe could wait.”

From May 9-16, Port will join about 120 other riders --  American Jews, Israeli Jews and Arabs -- as they ride 326 miles in the 2006 Arava Institute Hazon Bike Ride in Israel.

Now in its fourth year, the Israel Ride allows participants to cycle through diverse terrain, stunning vistas and changing landscapes, while supporting the innovative environmental programming of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES) and Hazon.

This year’s ride begins in Jerusalem and ends in Eilat. Riders have the choice of two routes, depending on their previous experience and comfort with biking. All riders will join together for Shabbat in Mitzpe Ramon and will ride as a group into Eilat to close the ride with a celebratory final dinner. The Ride strives to bring together a diverse group of people. In the past, riders have spanned six decades, all denominations, and included Americans, Jewish and Arab Israelis, and Jordanians.

Hazon is a NY-based non-profit doing environmental and outdoor education in the Jewish community. The AIES is the leading environmental educational institution in the Middle East. Situated on Kibbutz Ketura it is home to academic programs, research and public development and brings together students from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and North America.

As part of its commitment to environmental awareness and responsibility, Jewish National Fund has partnered with AIES to complete its campus. One hundred twenty riders are registered; JNF’s team of 42 that includes Port is helping to make that vision a reality.

Port is a partner in the Sandy Springs law firm of Cohen, Goldstein, Port and Gottlieb, where he has practiced commercial and securities litigation for eight years. Needing to raise $3,600 to make the trip, Port exceeded his goal and has already reached sponsorships of $5,600. Married with two sons, he appreciates “the closeness, collegiality and wonderful efforts by a host of Jewish groups in Atlanta that work to maintain, enhance and encourage Jewish culture and identity.”

Port is training for the Ride by riding a stationary trainer bike for 60-90 minutes every other morning and putting in 75 -100 miles on the road each weekend.

“I’m looking forward to this,” said Port. “This is my first real connection to JNF other than putting a few shekels into a blue box.”

In 2005, Israel Ride, subtitled “Cycling for Peace, Partnership and Environmental Protection,” raised a record-breaking $400,000. Riders commit to at least $3,600 in sponsorships. For information or to register, go to

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.

For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit


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