The excitement surrounding a forthcoming event is proving that bike riding for a cause can be a rewarding and attainable experience, for even the least experienced and youngest riders.
The Bike NCSY ride will take place on Sunday, June 25 to raise scholarship money for students attending gap year programs in Israel.
NCSY is partnering with BikeNY and their Discover Hudson Valley Ride for a scenic bike tour comprised of multiple routes and start times to accommodate every level rider.
“It is so gratifying to see the community of NCSY supporters coming together for this Bike NCSY event,” said Rabbi Micah Greenland, International Director of NCSY. “I am excited to see this event succeed and blossom in the future. Given the tens of thousands of dedicated alumni in the Tri-State area, I have no doubt that this annual event can one day attract hundreds of NCSY riders.”
Centered around the Walkway Over the Hudson, the world’s longest footbridge, in Poughkeepsie, NY, this ride offers a vast range of discovery, whether enjoying the breathtaking scenery of Ulster and Dutchess counties on the shorter routes or discovering one’s capabilities of over 5,800 feet of climbing in the 100-mile route. All routes begin and end in Poughkeepsie’s Victor C. Waryas Park with the option of 15 miles, then 33, 55, 75 and 100-mile routes. The event will take place rain or shine.
“NCSY is an amazing organization that is on the front lines of preparing the next generation of Jewish leaders,” said Phil Goldfeder, former Assemblyman and current Assistant Vice President for Government Affairs at Yeshiva University. “It is my greatest pleasure to join together with dozens of cyclists from across the country and ride 100 miles to strengthen our Jewish communal leadership and future.”
“I am participating on the NCSY Bike ride because it offers me a unique platform to increase our financial support, while decreasing my waistline,” said Jeff Korbman, Director of Development of NCSY. “With every bicycle taking part, it’s a wonderful feeling to know that Jewish teens will be engaged by the world’s premier Jewish teen organization. In fact, the outpouring of support has been just terrific.”
Participants are required to fundraise a minimum goal of $500, but raising more money will place them into a higher tier. With race admission and registration NCSY provides exciting perks such as a pre-race breakfast spread, post-race BBQ and celebration tent, bike jersey, insulated water bottle and commemorative t-shirt. Riders who raise $1,000 or more will receive Bike NCSY biking gloves, hoodies, cycling caps, portable phone chargers and selfie sticks.
The event’s corporate sponsor Mayer Gold, owner of Seasons Supermarkets, which has seven stores in locations including Lakewood, Long Island and Queens, is sponsoring snacks and the breakfast for riders. Although he’s hosted Shabbatons with other organizations in the past, this is the first time he’s involved with an NCSY event and will be riding too. “It’s a good ride, a good day, a good way to raise money for a good cause,” said Gold, who was invited to join by his close friend, Rabbi Yehoshua Marchuck, who organized Bike NCSY.
Rabbi Marchuck, Director of NCSY Alumni, noted that any teenager who wants to ride can choose to raise money for their own gap year experience. They can “bank their money” for the rest of high school, and upon graduation, NCSY Alumni will write a check directly to the Israel school towards that teen’s education.
As a complement to NCSY’s high school programming, NCSY continues to connect its alumni to authentic Jewish experiences after their graduation from high school, either for a gap year in Israel or on a college campus.
“There’s nothing greater in life than to be able to put two passions together and join the energy that you have for both of them,” says Rabbi Marchuck. “Bike NCSY brings together my true passion for cycling with what my true passion of NCSY is about — seeing students continue their Jewish journey after high school. Many of our NCSY teens dream of spending a year in Israel after high school studying Torah. The biggest impediment of making that dream come true is often the tuition expense of a gap year in Israel. Bike NCSY is a chance for us to help teens make their way to Israel, by being active, healthy, and joining together as a community for the greatest purpose of bringing NCSY teens closer to Torah and mitzvot. By bringing these passions together, we can change the lives of teens in fulfilling their dream of going to study in Israel.”
The ride is open to children from ages 3 to 9, who may ride with an adult on a tandem bike, in a child’s seat, on a tag-along bike, or in a bike trailer. Riders ages 10 to 17 may ride their own bikes, but must remain in close proximity to the adult with whom they were registered.
“From the time we were little children, NCSY has been the one timeless organization that has always been at the forefront of building a stronger Jewish nation literally across the globe,” says Rabbi Baruch Ber Bender, CEO of Achiezer. “Who doesn’t know someone, somewhere that was in some way positively affected by the special mission of NCSY. My wife and I are thrilled to have joined the NCSY bike tour this year and aside from enjoying a beautiful bike ride together, we are happy to be supporting such a wonderful cause.”
Deena Fried, a long time NCSYer who will be riding, grew up in a home that hosted teenagers often. “I have seen them grow through the NCSY experience my whole life,” Fried says. “The change and commitment that comes from their gap year in Israel really helps them solidify what they have gained through high school. I have been looking to do a charity bike ride for a while, but needed to find one with flexible options since this was my first bike ride. When they created one for NCSY, an organization I truly believe in, it was a no brainer to start my long distance bike riding career. The staff organizing this event has been energized, organized and helpful through this whole experience. Can’t wait for this year and many years to come to bike with NCSY!”