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Ridin’ Chai

Posted on 10 November 2011 by admin

What do Israel, bikers and at-risk-youth have in common? It might surprise you — Hadassah. On Sunday, Oct. 23 Dallas Chapter of Hadassah organized the first ever local Jewish motorcycle rally to bring awareness to three causes — Israel, Hadassah and at-risk-youth. The rally was sponsored by a local motorcycle club, Iron Guardians, and brought out 13 motorcycle riders who took a three hour scenic Texas ride. Members of Chai’s of Texas also participated in the rally.

Event organizers Terri and Sheldon Schepps

Ride for Israel, Ride for Hadassah and Ride for Youth Motorcycle Rally brought a diverse group supporting many causes. Sheldon Schepps, a Harley rider and the chair of the event, mentors youth on the edge of making wrong life decisions, hoping to prevent them from learning an even harder lesson in prison. Schepps worked with his wife, Terri, president of the Dallas Chapter of Hadassah and their daughter, Hannah, local chair of Hadassah’s Youth Aliyah, to come up with a way to mix his love for motorcycles, passion for Israel and support for Hadassah while bringing awareness to a local issue near and dear to his heart, at-risk-youth. Judah Epstein and Ron Reiner, members of Chai’s of Texas assisted in organizing and planning the event.

Iron Guardians Motorcycle Club http://www.ironguardians.com/ sponsored the event with dollars and riders. Their organizational mission is to purposely reach and change the lives of at-risk-youth in North Texas. They provide drug and impact programs for youth in Denton and Wise County as well as with the Texas Youth Commission. Iron Guardians is an invitation only motorcycle club.

The Dallas Chapter of Hadassah has been looking to host more events for men to become more directly involved with Hadassah. The motorcycle event proved to be just that, bringing out men of all ages and all backgrounds. The ride was free, but donations were requested. They collected items such as shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and more for the Texas Youth Commission Dallas Parole office, where juveniles previously incarcerated are trying to make a new life for themselves. Money was also collected to support Hadassah’s organization.

Hadassah, known for their hospitals and research in Israel, also provides an at-risk-youth program, Youth Aliyah. Youth Aliyah is a child rescue program that Hadassah helped to create in 1934 when Henrietta Szold assisted Recha Freier in rescuing tens of thousand of children from war-torn Eastern Europe. At the beginning, the youth were settled in agricultural villages and helped to build the fledgling country that would become Israel. Today the job of Youth Aliyah is to help, educate and nurture the children of the Ethiopian and Russian migrations as well as the Israeli children who are part of the over 300,000 youth living on the streets, doing drugs, drinking and doomed to a life that goes nowhere.

The next motorcycle rally is already in the works. If you are a motorcycle rider or have an interest, send your name and e-mail to chapter.dallas@hadassah.org.

Donations are still being accepted to purchase items for Texas Youth Commission and Hadassah.

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