Hundreds will participate in this year’s Israel Ride, including 12 people representing team JNF Wisconsin. The eight-day ride begins in Jerusalem and ends in Eilat from Nov. 1-8, 2022.
Cantor David Barash and Debra Gorra Barash will lead team JNF Wisconsin to participate in the ride after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The ride is fully booked and will host 175 riders this year, according to Barash. JNF is the Jewish National Fund.
The Israel Ride focuses on peacebuilding and environmentalism. The ride benefits two nongovernmental organizations, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel and Hazon in the U.S.
Hazon works toward sustainability through retreats and educational programs. The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies hosts Arab and Jewish students and leaders, to learn to work together while solving the region’s environmental challenges.
Towards the end of the ride, participants will visit the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Kibbutz Ketura to see its ongoing work.
“It’s a wonderful environmental endeavor that happens in Kibbutz Ketura, which is in the south in the Negev, where they have Palestinians and Israelis and Jordanians, along with international students all coming together, to learn how to tackle issues, environmental issues, right in the middle east,” Barash said.
“It’s important because of very trying times … right now, and this is a wonderful grassroots way of building, literally building peace,” he said.
Daniel Barash, Jonathan Barash, Joshua Barash, Rabbi Jonathan Biatch of Madison, DeWitt Clinton, Paul Eberhardy, Mark Goldstein, Jeff Gorelick, Diane Zall and Eric Zall will participate on team JNF Wisconsin.