Rank and File: 500 Bike Riders Are Raising $3.2 Million for Jerusalem Charity

Alfred Moses tells the story of how he got Jews out of Romania and Limmud Israel is launching with an inaugural event offering a night of Jewish learning with huge names

Alfred Moses, the former U.S. ambassador to Romania, in 2018
Courtesy of Alfred Moses

A STORY YOU HAVE TO HEAR: During the Cold War, countless people worked behind the scenes to get Jews out from behind the Iron Curtain, and we still don't know many of their stories. One such tale coming to light is that of Alfred Moses, a Washington, D.C. lawyer and former diplomat who will be hosting a book launch of his memoirs at Tel Aviv’s Beit Hatfusot on Monday. “I felt there’s a story to be told,” Moses, who hails from Baltimore, told Haaretz. “I spent 13 years getting Jews out of Romania. I led that journey from its Communist past to its democratic present,” recalled Moses, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Romania from 1994 to 1997. Moses, co-chairman of Beit Hatfusot and former American Jewish Congress president who notably was behind anti-boycott legislation in the U.S. Congress in 1976 and helped save Romania’s Great Synagogue, will share his personal anecdotes on Monday. RSVP to raya@bh.org.il.

Limmud Israel’s interim chair Danielle Nagler, in 2017
Dror Katz

LIVE AND LEARN: Limmud Israel is launching its inaugural event in Tel Aviv Monday, in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly. The evening of Jewish learning features major personalities like Natan Sharansky and Einat Wilf, as well as prominent native English speakers like Michael Eisenberg, Jonathan Feldman, Chana Kanzen, Benji Lovitt, John Medved, Gil Troy and Sarah Tuttle-Singer. Moderators include Haaretz’s Allison Kaplan Sommer and Anshel Pfeffer. “People who are familiar with Limmud will have the things they love about it, and a huge diversity of content,” Danielle Nagler, Limmud Israel’s interim chair, told Haaretz. “If they are not familiar, it will be a mind-blowing experience of breadth and depth and eclectic people that you don’t forget,” added Nagler, a London native who was heavily involved in Limmud U.K. “This launch of Limmud Israel is momentous - convening participants from across the country together with communal leaders from across North America,” said Limmud Israel event Chair Jay Shultz.

A DIFFICULT RIDE FOR A GOOD CAUSE: When a British charity pulled out of an international bike ride in Israel after the second intifada broke out in 2000, a small group of immigrants banded together to find their own charity to bike for. That immigrant group – Barry Levenfeld, Steve Zerobnik, Geoffrey Freeman, Lawrence Lebor and Chaim Zlotogorski – chose ALYN Hospital, a rehabilitation center for physically challenged and disabled youth. Chaim Wizman, director of special projects for Friends of ALYN, told Haaretz the event has grown from nine riders raising $60,000 to over 500 riders this year aiming to raise $3.2 million. The ride starts October 28 at the Yatir Forest and ends November 1 at the Jerusalem hospital. “It’s a difficult ride, really a metaphor for what these kids do,” said Wizman, who grew up in Suffolk County, Long Island. “The kids wait for them at the finish line with baited breath to put medals around them. There’s not a dry eye, it’s such a real raw emotional moment. It really shows the best in humanity.” For more info, visit https://www.alynactive.org/event/ride/.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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