Photo Credit: Courtesy of FIDF
IDF combat veteran Col. (Res.) Itzik Gabay with his FIDF-sponsored sports prosthetics

More than 150 Ohio-area Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) will join wounded IDF combat veteran Col. (Res.) Itzik Gabay for a bike ride to support FIDF programs for wounded soldiers, ahead of the 2018 FIDF Ride Israel Mission, a cross-Israel cycling trip that will take place in October.

Gabay lost his left leg below the knee after he stepped on a landmine during his military service. After his injury, he returned to the army, eventually retiring with the rank of colonel. Gabay is part of the FIDF Strides program, which helps injured veterans rediscover their strength by providing advanced prosthetics for athletic activities that include running, biking, and other sports.


Using an FIDF Strides sports prosthesis, Gabay joined the inaugural FIDF Ride Israel Mission in October 2015, as well as the 2017 mission, and looks forward to riding with FIDF supporters again in Israel this October.

“FIDF’s Strides has enabled many wounded IDF veterans to take part in sports activities, and for that we will be forever grateful,” said Gabay, who mentors young Israeli wounded veterans and amputees.

“This unique cycling ride is an opportunity for FIDF supporters from across Ohio to meet and ride alongside one of the brave Israeli heroes who risked it all – and nearly lost – to defend the Jewish homeland,” said FIDF Ohio Director Lane Schlessel.

Organizing the ride are FIDF supporters Brian and Diane Jenks, who host the “Outspoken Cyclist” podcast, participated in last year’s FIDF Ride Israel Mission, and own a bike shop, with more than 35 years in the cycling industry.

FIDF Ride Ohio will start and finish at B’nai Jeshrun Congregation in Pepper Pike. To register, please visit: