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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Call it camaraderie and a pack with a purpose – to raise awareness and money for Holocaust museums across the country.
“Jewish Motorcyclist Alliance has been in existence since ‘05 and every year it’s somewhere else,” says Jerry Edelman, a Chicago rider. “In 2010, it was in Chicago. It’s been everywhere and we go and see people we haven’t seen all year.”
On Friday morning, motorcyclists gathered in west St. Louis County at the Millstone Jewish community campus and the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center.
“Once a year we meet at a different location around the United States and Canada,” says Bob Cohen, president of the Jewish Motorcyclist Alliance. “Our clubs, which are all around the world, send representatives to join us and our primary goal is to enjoy riding with fellow Jews, which is a bit of an oxymoron to begin with because there aren’t a lot of Jewish riders. I think it’s because our mother told us we need to be careful and it’s dangerous. But most of us didn’t listen to our mothers and we ride anyway.”
More than 200 members from around the world are in St. Louis this weekend for their annual Ride 2 Remember.
It’s a chance to share a meal and for members of the Jewish faith to share stories of the Holocaust.
“It’s so important to get the word out and keep people involved and talking about it and Jewish motorcyclists draw a certain attention and it makes people pay attention and that`s exactly what we want,” says Lauren Secular, a New York rider. “So we slip our message in around the distraction of the motorcycles.”
“Our local charity is the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, more specifically the LEAS program, which teaches the lessons of the Holocaust, so police officers can do their jobs and understand the concerns of the Jewish community and some of the other minority communities,” says Steven Aroesty, co-chair of the convention.