Cycling for Peace, Partnership and Environmental Protection
JNF To Send a Team on The 2006 Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE • Contact: Jodi Bodner • JNF Director of Communications • 212-879-9305 ext. 221 •firstname.lastname@example.org
April 3, 2006 -- New York, NY -- Ron Lubin prefers to see the drama of Israel’s landscape unfold at 15 m.p.h. rather than at 60 m.p.h. The Sharon, MA bank executive would rather the view from about three feet off the ground than from behind the window panes of a car. He relishes the feel of hot desert winds, the cool breezes off the coast, and even the grit of sand against his face. Ron Lubin likes to traverse the country by bicycle.
To enjoy the countryside and get to know it and its people in a more intimate way, while raising money to help protect Israel’s environment, from May 9-16 Lubin will join about 150 other riders -- American Jews, Israeli Jews and Arabs -- in the 2006 Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride.
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. Striving to bring together a diverse group of people, in the past the Ride has included riders spanning six decades 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. JNF’s team of Israel Ride riders led by Lubin, are helping to make that vision a reality.
Twenty-nine (and counting) riders from around the country will look to Lubin’s leadership as he captains the JNF team.
This is Lubin’s second year on the Ride. An avid biker who averages about 12-15 miles several times a week, Lubin says he needs to train for the Ride which averages about 60-90 miles a day. This year, his son, 20-year-old Jeffrey, who made aliyah from Sharon, MA and is about to go into the army, is joining him.
“The ride itself is great,” said Lubin. “The terrain goes from hilly to flat and back again, and the scenery is just breathtaking, changing as it does from forest to hills to coastal plains to desert to rocks to sand. I also enjoy seeing the country in this physical way as opposed to just sitting in a car or on a bus. You connect in a different sort of way. Last year we came across a Bedouin family who invited about 15 of us in to sit and have coffee with them. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
The environmental aspect is addressed at areas of interest along the way and AIES students speak to the group about their work. But for Lubin, president of JNF Boston, seeing JNF’s accomplishments -- the forests and the reservoirs -- whiz by, the ride offers a tremendous sense of collective accomplishment as well as personal. “And when a third party presents it and talks about JNF’s work," he said, "it’s just incredible.”
In 2005, Israel Ride, subtitled “Cycling for Peace, Partnership and Environmental Protection,” raised a record-breaking $400,000. Riders commit to at least $3600 in sponsorships. For information or to register, go to http://www.israelride.org/.
Caption: Ron Lubin rides and stops for occasional bike tune-ups in the Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride.
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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 www.jnf.org.