In Tour de Shuls, local cyclists pedal for a good cause.

Beverly Bikes cyclists hit the road for Tour de Shuls fundraiser

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Beverly Bikes cyclists hit the road for Tour de Shuls fundraiser

In Tour de Shuls, local cyclists pedal for a good cause.

Bill Kerr of Beverly Bikes, a one-stop shop for all things biking, is organizing a group of Beverly road bikers to join the annual Tour de Shuls, a charity bike ride that raises money for the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah New England, supporting children with special needs at camp. The ride will take place June 23, and all are welcome to participate.

“The Beverly Bikes road crew is a joy to ride with,” said Kerr, who owns the bike shop. “We are always looking for bicycle adventures to share. What could be better than an event which combines B2 comradery with helping to build positive community? Tour de Shuls meets both of the criteria.”

According to Brian Silver, this year’s Tour de Shuls chair and a neurologist who lives in Sharon, the ride has been around for more than 10 years, organized through the New England Region of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. The rides are 10, 25, 50 or 75 miles – rider’s choice.

The event usually attracts 50 to 75 riders, and raises somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 for the Tikvah Program. So far, riders have raised almost $3,000 this year, with the money coming from the registration fees and independent donations.

The Tour de Shuls gives riders a chance not only to raise money for a good cause, but also to get to see shuls in the area. This year, the ride will begin at Temple Israel in Sharon and journey to B’nai Tikvah in Canton, Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills in Milton, Temple Aliyah in Needham, and Temple Beth David in Westwood. Riders have the chance to check out the shuls, and to stop for refreshments.

“It’s a great ride,” said Silver, who usually does the full 75 miles. As a neurologist, he often works with people who have suffered strokes and have resulting changes in physical and cognitive function.

“Part of the challenge we see in that population is they don’t get included in some activities,” he said. “When I first heard this particular program, I thought it was a great way [for] kids who have special needs to have, essentially, an experience that kids without special needs have as well.”

Another rider this year is Gary Keimach of Sharon, the president of the brotherhood at Temple Israel. This is his third year doing the ride, and he always finds it meaningful. “They offer this opportunity for kids that have special needs that I don’t think a lot of camps offer,” he said. Keimach’s daughter, now in her 20s, attended Camp Ramah New England when she was growing up.

“The experience of summer camp, going away, being with other kids who you’re not with the rest of the year, having that opportunity to form a bond with people from different parts of the region or even outside the region – in Camp Ramah’s case, different countries – you just don’t get that during the year,” Keimach said. “That bond that’s formed there, it lasts for life.”

The ride provides bikers the chance to do something that fires up their souls while bringing real positive change to the world.

“Sharing the enormous abundance we have been blessed with is more than important; it is essential,” said Kerr. “In Psalm 46 we are commanded to ‘be still and know.’ That place for me, that place of stillness, is on a bicycle. It is a meditative place. The struggle stops and the experience of the Presence becomes immediate. Joy is given.

“Tour de Shuls is an opportunity to both give and receive,” he said.

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