Fall Fundraiser Bike Ride

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 12:00pm


Dear Reader,

This fall, we will undertake an amazing five-day charity bike ride from Jerusalem through the desert to Eilat, the southernmost point in Israel. Together we plan to cover over 360 miles. We are very excited to represent Team CNNH and NeurAbilities in the “Israel Ride”. While so much of what we hear about Israel in the news is negative, the Israel Ride raises money to support two organizations that are each doing incredibly positive work towards building peace and sustainable communities for future generations in the Middle East, and around the world (see attached).

Over the years, Team CNNH has raised tens of thousands of dollars for various worthy charities. Our goal for the ride is to raise $10,000 with half (50%) going to the Arava Institute of Environmental Studies and the other half locally to NeurAbilities’ Creative Arts programs. We ask you to join us in supporting these organizations by supporting our ride. The primary beneficiaries of our fundraising will be the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (arava.org) and NeurAbilities (neurabilities.org). The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is one of the leading environmental academic and research institutions in the Middle East. Its mission is to use the world’s environmental resource challenges to build dialogue, cooperation, and trust among people and, in doing so, create a catalyst for peace. NeurAbilities, based locally in Voorhees, New Jersey helps empower special needs communities by increasing their community inclusion, knowledge and supports, and foster independence, self-esteem and artistic expression through creative arts, education and research.

We hope you will consider making, for example, a 10 cent per mile pledge of $36, 20 cents per mile for $72, 30 cents per mile for $108, 40 cents per mile for $144, 50 cents per mile for $180, $1 per mile for $360, or, if you are able, a larger amount donation for the Israel Ride for supporting and promoting peace and environmental security in Israel and for enhancing the mission of NeurAbilities, locally. Our goal is to raise $10,000, and your generosity and kindness will help us reach our goal!

You can make a tax-deductible donation by credit card or PayPal at the link below.

You may also make your tax-deductible donation by sending a check made out to “NeurAbilities” and mail to 2050 Voorhees Town Center, Voorhees, NJ 08043. Be sure to include “Israel Ride” in the memo. Thank you in advance for your support!


Mark and Pnina Mintz

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What is the Israel Ride?

The Israel Ride was founded as a partnership between the Arava Institute and Hazon to show solidarity with Israel at a very difficult time, and to provide new avenues for supporting their critical environmental programs. In May 2003, the first Israel Ride attracted 34 riders and collected over $50,000. In 2005, the partnership expanded to include the Friends of the Arava Institute, and it became the US charity of record. Also in 2005, Jewish National Fund joined as a key marketing partner, establishing a national Team JNF with regional teams across the country.

If Palestinians And Israelis Can Cooperate On The Environment... 
Huffington Post 06/16/2017 05:26 pm ET

Investing in peace and the environment makes sense. Palestine and Israel are on the same side of the Paris Accord. In a world of scarce resources that is hotter and dryer than ever before the lack of water for people and nations will be a constant cause for further conflict. The Middle East, especially the land lived in by the peoples of Jordan, Israel and Palestine ― and now more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees – is small ― smaller than the state of New York.  If one nation pollutes, they all experience repercussions ― if wastewater is dumped in the Mediterranean it washes up on the others’ beaches; if water is not available for domestic and agricultural use it will disrupt the lives of their peoples. Much of the land is already a desert, some even hyper-arid ― receiving less than 1 inch of rain a year. Little grows and what does requires intelligent conservation and sophisticated reuse of water. Sunlight and thus solar power is plentiful for those with the land and know-how to capture it. Rivers and aquifers are shared. There is no escaping the fact that nature knows no borders. Palestinians, Jordanians and Israelis are working together on cross-boundary solutions to environmental problems. Surprised? Well, you might be. The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies ― located in the south of Israel, largely housed on one of the few remaining traditional kibbutz communities, has been working to educate young leaders from all three of these societies and build trust for twenty years. This has led to cooperative research and development in renewable energy, water conservation, as well as wastewater treatment and reuse and sustainable agricultural innovation. How can a small Institute in the middle of nowhere accomplish this? As Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” In fact, the Arava Institute, from its inception was committed to educating and working beyond borders. At the Arava Institute students ― Jordanians, Palestinians, Israelis and citizens of the world, largely North Americans ― are actively trained to respect each other by learning about environmental challenges together and by intensive peace-building leadership seminars. These students are increasingly in positions to make a cooperative future possible. The Arava Institute is now moving forward to build political solutions to the region’s environmental problems.  Last fall representatives from Jordan, Israel and Palestinian entities (some the Institute’s own alumni) came together to look at the issues. Today those partners are in working-groups, focusing on viable cross-border solutions. The environment cannot wait for a peace-accord that seems intractable or for environmental accords that all three of these parties are signers of the Paris Accord, even if the United States has now withdrawn its support. Why should we care about the resources of Israel’s neighbors? Beyond Israel’s self-interest in clean beaches and aquifers, Israel as a leader in water reuse and conservation, as well as desalinization, and knows that stable neighbors are an essential element in securing peace; and water and accessible energy are essential for economic, social and political stability. Climate change will have a major impact on an already water-scarce region. Only through cross-border cooperation will the region be able to adapt peacefully to higher temperatures, less rainfall, biodiversity loss and the shift in climate zones. Looking for solutions, as partners on environmental issues, is part of the way forward. If the Arava Institute can make progress then hopefully so can our governments and leaders.  We must look forward to building a more peaceful, sustainable and healthy future that will allow for the region to teach about the possibilities of peace and the importance of environmental cooperation today and for our future.

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