Rev. Robert Rapp and his congregants have been ardent supporters of ADI for more than 5 years, sponsoring projects and equipment as well as hosting events at their church to promote ADI’s work. Following their most recent volunteering stint at ADI in March, the congregation was determined to “take the spirit of ADI” to their neck of the woods in Oregon. For their local “Umpqua Strong Run-Walk” in September, the group organized an ADI running team to raise awareness of ADI and its ideals of love and acceptance towards all of humanity, as well as raise funds for a memorial to honor the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting in October 2015. The memorial of nine trees in a grove will be created on the grounds of ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran as a joint effort between the Jewish National Fund and New Hope Church.
“This event seemed to be the perfect opportunity to make the direct connection between ADI and UCC. Both serve to educate and train while inspiring, ‘All People. No Limits.’ That describes the kind of unity we experienced during our time spent in Israel at ADI. We were received with open arms and have been treated as family ever since,” said Rev. Rapp. “At the event, we were reminded that despite the tragic loss of life, good can and will come out of tragedy. If we hold on to the values of determination, unity, and hope – values that we saw on display constantly at ADI – then we can shine light into even the most foreboding darkness.”
Event organizers indicated that about 750 people registered for the Umpqua Strong Run-Walk, and the money raised will benefit nine charities, including ADI. We are so grateful to Rev. Rapp and his congregants for putting ADI front and center throughout this amazing Tikkun Olam initiative!