From Jerusalem, my friend Jeff Green writes —
Subject: an appeal
Date: Apr 23, 2007, at 6:44 AM
I've volunteered to go on a three-day hike to raise money for Tsad Kadima (the name means "a step forward"), an Israeli organization for the education of children with cerebral palsy [CP]. I'm sure you get more solicitations of this kind than you want to read, and this is the very first time I've been roped into an enterprise like this. Please go to the Tsad Kadima web site here to see what an intelligent, effective organization it is.
Close friends of ours have a daughter with CP who is the same age as our son Asher, 27, and we have been following her development and their care for her all her life. Our friends are the ones who heard about the Conductive Education system in Hungary and brought their daughter to Budapest for long treatment sessions. However, they didn't merely seek help for their own daughter. They helped found this organization in order to train Israeli physical therapists in the Peto method, thus turning their own personal problem into a platform for helping a large number of other families with the same problem.
I'd appreciate it if you made a contribution to Tsad Kadima, toward the $1,000 that I'm pledged to collect. On the web site, if you go to "Hike for Hope" and then click on "Support a Hiker" you'll find me and a form for making a contribution in support of me. Please confirm with me that you have made a contribution or a pledge, including the amount. It's extremely unlike me to make a solicitation like this, but the cause is good enough to make me break out of character.
Next, Jeff reports on the Hike for Hope —
Subject: report on hike for hope
Date: May 6, 2007 4:58:53 AM
צעדת התקווה — The Hike for Hope — turned out to be much more demanding than I expected, but I welcomed the challenge and rose to it in the company of wonderful people, some forty, including four girls under twelve. I was the oldest, I'm afraid to say.
We hiked south on the Israel Trail, a hiking trail that extends up and down the whole country, from Eilat to the Lebanese border. We were in a hilly area, which made for beautiful scenery and hard going. The first day we hiked around 20 km. [about 12.5 miles] and the second day it was shorter but much more demanding.
We each paid about $200 to participate in the hike, to cover the expense of providing tents, food, and transportation. We camped at the Dor Beach, a beautiful site on the Mediterranean, and we were treated very well.
The organizers arranged to have a dozen or so young people with CP join us at the beach on the last night and then the next day for a final ceremony at Caesaria. If they hadn't joined us, it would have been easy for us to forget just why we had undertaken this hike and the effort to raise money. They had hired two musicians, a keyboard player and singer, and his wife, who played wind instruments, to entertain us. At first, like all of us, they were put off by the grotesqueness of the people with CP. But soon the young people started singing along and dancing to the music, and when the musicians saw how much they enjoyed the music they got into the spirit, and it was extremely moving.
When you look at these young people, you see what an enormous investment in love and care each one of them represents, and you also see amazing responsiveness to that love and care.
I've attached two pictures to give you an idea of what I mean.
With heartfelt thanks to those who have contributed and a reminder that it's not too late to contribute. You can send checks payable to "Tsad Kadima" to —
Friends of Tsad Kadima
c/o Barbara and Henry Render
1745 Lake Eleanor Drive
Deerfield, IL 60015-2055
Please mention that it's to "sponsor" me.