• Mission

    To raise support and visibility for AVODAH, the Jewish Service Corps, while becoming an agent for social change over 3,100 miles of biking.

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    AVODAH is an organization that provides an opportunity for young people to engage in social justice work while fostering Jewish values. We Corps member live in an intentional Jewish community while engaging in work for social change.

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How far are you going?

How far are you going?  When someone asks us this question, there is an instant judgment on our part in order to provide an answer of what would seem fathomable to them. What city is close enough that they know how long it would take to drive and the thought of biking there seems so bizarre and outlandish? Prior to Chicago, we told folks in passing that we were headed to Chicago, but once outside of Chicago, in the Midwest, we tended to set smaller goals. For example, just outside of Libertyville, where we left Alli at her beautiful house, a woman saw us on a side road as she was outside watering her plants. We asked about a road up ahead and she said it was only a few blocks…but “how far were we actually going”? We told her Beloit, Wisconsin, because that was our goal for lunch.  What!? She responded, you are going all the way to Wisconsin on a bike?? Wisconsin was a reality to her, something she was familiar with; she could comprehend the distance.

Many people, far and wide in this nation, have rarely left their small town, only a few times ventured into the big cities, and have no desire or need to confront many realities that folks living in urban environments see every day. One of the stereotypes of larger cities, for example where AVODAH has a presence: Chicago, DC, and New York, and New Orleans is that they are overcrowded, unsafe, dirty, similar to many of the feedlots we have seen the past few weeks. The stink from the methane, gusting out from feedlots when passing can be comparable to the constant overwhelming car exhaust in the air.

We always strive to be as honest as possible, and say where our actual destination is after the initial interaction, but we also don’t want people to think we are too insane upon first impression…:)

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