Earlier this week I went to the first meeting for the Ride for Reform, the bike ride I am doing next spring. I'm really excited to be getting started on this. Then reality started to set it, I only have a few months to get ready for the ride.
They have posted the route on their website, and it doesn't look that intense, but I've never rode this far on back to back days before. But other than that, I think I can get my legs into shape to take care of that. Tomorrow I'm planing on joining Dan and Leah, and maybe others, on the road to take a little ride to the Jerusalem Forrest.
The route this year starts in Modiin, if you're familiar with the Channukah Story, it is said to have taken place here. By the end of five days we will be finishing at Masada and the Dead Sea. So I guess I have a way to get down there this year, it's just going to be on a bike and not a bus!
I am worried about one thing though, fundraising. I've never done fundraising for myself before. We're kicking it all off by having a bake sale on Sunday to see what we can start raising together. Adding in to my wariness is that I need to do this all from Israel with little "actual" contact with people in the states. I know this is the digital age, but I would feel more comfortable doing this face to face. ?מה לעשות (Mah La'asot). What to do?
If you are a facebook user, I have created a community page. Please follow along there as I post about my progress. I will probably be putting more on that page than on here.
But what organization is this fundraising going towards? The Ride4Reform collects donations that benefit the IMPJ (Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism). Reform Judaism in Israel is very different from back in the USA. The communities are smaller and there are not a ton of them. Part of the issue is that they are at a disadvantage because so many people in Israel see what many call Orthodoxy as the only way to be observant.
The IMPJ is the Israeli version of the URJ that helps support these communities, helps them with outreach and putting out information about being involved in the Progressive Movement here. They also support youth activities and so much more. This is an incredibly important cause to me, especially in light of some of the issues with the "Rotem Conversion Bill" that was in the forefront this summer. I am really excited to help the IMPJ and to have a lot of fun riding across Israel to do it.
If you're looking for more information about the IMPJ, you can visit the IMPJ website.
There is also plenty of information on the web about the Rotem Bill that still has not been defeated in the K'nesset.