THE BLOG

I'm No Triathlete

For starters, here's the sprint version of this post: this Saturday, I am going to participate in the first full triathlon in my life. It's a huge effort, and honestly - I'm quite anxious, but also excited and hopeful. I hope to be able to actually finish, and to even enjoy the thrill of the effort. I wanted to ask my readers to show their support and sponsor me, by doing something for an organization I love, respect, and care so much for: the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), where I also happen to be working as executive director for just over a year now.

Here's how to do it: Tax-exempt donations to ACRI may be made via the New Israel Fund. In the States, contributions should be marked as donor-advised to ACRI and mailed to:

New Israel Fund
PO Box 96712
Washington DC 20077-7438

(Sorry, you'll indeed need to write a check and mail it to NIF - there is no way to do it online; the minimal gift NIF will process is $100; for non-US gifts, do contact me). Please drop me an email so that I can thank you - and keep track of the support generated. Your sponsorship means a lot to me.
Have you written that check already? Thank you! Do keep reading: ACRI is Israel's leading human rights organization, and the only Israeli NGO that deals with the entire spectrum of human rights and civil liberties issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories. In a constitutionless democracy, ACRI has been consistently successful in bringing precedent-setting litigation to the Israeli Supreme Court, defending freedom of expression, the rights for equality and privacy, equality for Arab citizens, gay and lesbian rights, immigrant rights, gender equality and more.

Since July 2008, when selected as ACRI's executive directed, I've been humbled and honored to be part of this unique team of dedicated professionals, volunteers, and members, who together strive to work for a better Israel, where equality, social justice, human rights, and democracy are not promises to be fulfilled in the future, but part of our current reality. We deserve nothing less.
It has been a most challenging year, and recent months have only been further compounded with a wave of anti-democratic legislation attempts, divisive rhetoric, and the further marginalization of Arab citizens, immigrant workers and asylum seekers, and human rights groups themselves. Core democratic values are being challenged, and ACRI is playing a leading part in not only expressing these concerns but also in making the clear point that in defending human rights and strengthening our democracy we are protecting ourselves, building a better society and securing our shared future.

Nine years ago I've participated in the 6th Boston-New York AIDSRide, and the friends who sponsored me donated in total $1,995 in support of the HIV / AIDS-related services of Boston's Fenway Community Health. I hope to now, with your support and generosity, break that personal record.

This coming Saturday in Caesarea it is important for me to be swimming 1,500 meters (1,640 yards), biking for 40 kilometers (25 miles), and running for 10 kilometers (6 miles) with your support in ACRI's work for human rights. This triathlon is my personal pledge. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Yours,
Hagai

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