As an AMHSI Educator, I Bike for the Hostages
Meet my eclectic mountain biking group from the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel, riding to call attention to the plight of the hostages, while wearing biking shirts from Funkier, an Israeli company who is committed to supporting our cause. The weekly ride in nature, engaging with Israel Studies through its nature, culture, comradery and love for our country and all its people and history is our oxygen.
I joined as a returning citizen in 2008, riding a bike my daughter received for her 10th birthday. The group includes only two native English speakers, academics, musicians, farmers, guides, a kindergarten assistant, a technician, a local video producer - pensioners and working folk from diverse backgrounds. I joined a vibrant community of mostly native Israelis. Our leader is a “King of Israel” and no money changes hands. Five people have since completed the 2-year course to become Israeli guides.
We share a love of the land and its people and deep frustration over any interest-group oriented politicization, admiration for the founders settling in early kibbutzim and other farming and small-town border communities, and an intense desire to help our families and others, to make a difference, to tell the world what’s really happening. Everyone volunteers using their skills, in agriculture, cooking, knitting, hosting evacuees, or in donating goods or money. We demonstrate, share stories, and support each other’s efforts.
I invite you to share this initiative with friends and sporting clubs with common interests. The world doesn’t know us or our shared culture and values. They see the devastation and hear the extremists and may not realize that the same-minded sadistic terrorists who attacked Israel on October 7 attacked the US on 9/11. We need to show that the hostages could have been their children, their grandparents, their grandchildren. We need to promote empathy, understanding, and connection as Hamas propaganda is well-financed and effective.
At AMHSI, I share my experiences and those of my peers and children in engaging with and my love of the land, that it’s not just in a two- or four-month course but, for many, our way of life. I hope you connect to the spirit of our message and share it with other people to promote support for our hostages and help BRING THEM HOME NOW!
Dr. Debby Mir is a native Canadian who immigrated to Israel in 1981, receiving a scholarship for her MSc studies at the Technion in Environmental Sciences. She has a BSc degree in Biology from McGill, PhD in Geography (environmental management and policy) from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and more recently a BEd in teaching environmental sciences from the Technion. Debby worked at AMHSI during the 1990s and currently since 2015. During her career she has worked in India, France, California, Chicago, and Israel for environmental consulting companies, government agencies, universities, and privately, and was a professor at Northeastern University before returning to Israel in 2007. She has an active lifestyle with three grandchildren, teaches science at AMHSI commuting from northern Israel, has a consulting business for environmental research and editing scientific articles, and is an avid mountain biker and hiker.