Thursday, January 30, 2003

Some Good News


Grant is city man's ticket to bike ride, education

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If you ask Daniel Rabkin, he might tell you that a 266-mile bicycle ride from Tel Aviv to Eilat in Israel to support the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES) might do more for world peace than a war.

Rabkin, who lives downtown, will be in Israel for five months through a grant by the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati.

He will study an intensive Hebrew language program, but will join a group on a five-day bike ride from April 27 to May 2 to bring awareness to the AIES program.

AIES was founded in 1996. It brings undergraduate and graduate students from the Middle East, North America and around the world to live and study together.

"The institute combines the work of protecting the Middle East's and the world's environment with cross-cultural education aimed at serving as a bridge to peace," Rabkin said.

Rabkin attended AIES for a semester in 1998. "AIES is open to anyone anywhere in the world, regardless of nationality or religion. The belief is that the environment knows no boundaries. When I was there, I actually had two Palestinians as roommates," he said.

Rabkin will leave for Israel Feb. 5 from Boston. His five months of study will be on Kibbutz Maagan Michael on the Mediterranean, between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

He attended Yavneh Day School in Kenwood through the fifth grade.

He graduated from Cincinnati Country Day High School in 1997, and from Hampshire College, Amherst, Mass, in May.

Rabkin rode bikes across the country in support of community development projects for the AIDSRide in 2000.

Each person in the Arava Institute bike ride is committed to raise $3,600 for the program. Anyone who wishes to support the bike ride may send contributions to Michael Cohen, executive director, North American Offices, The Arava Institute, 293 Barnumville Road, Manchester Center, VT 05255.

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The Good Samaritans' 19th annual Gala, which supports the medical education research fund at Good Samaritan Hospital, will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Millennium Hotel, downtown.

Lynn Meyer, a staff member of the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation, said funds from the gala will also be used to purchase a transmyocardial revascularization heart laser (TMR) for the hospital's Cardiovascular Surgery Department.

TMR is an alternative to angioplasty or bypass heart surgery.

For ticket information, call 872-3786.

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About 250 families can earn $2,500 for a down payment on a house if they complete a four-quarter economic literacy and homeownership course.

They should attend the kickoff of the American Dream Account Program from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, 3458 Reading Road, Avondale.

Information, call 984-8820.

Allen Howard's "Some Good News" column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at ahoward@enquirer.com or by fax at 768-8340.




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