Hadar Crosses the Sea of Galilee for Dignity and Pride

For: Beth Dror
Organizer: Hadar Aviram
Hadar Crosses the Sea of Galilee for Dignity and Pride (Beth Dror)
of $2,000 goal
100% Complete
Raised by 52 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Swim day is Sat, Dec. 21,and we start at  5am Israel time (for those of you in the States, that's Fri, Dec. 20th at 10pm EST, 7pm PST). Follow our progress live on our SPOT Tracker page here!

About the Sea of Galilee

Located in the Northeast of Israel, the Sea of Galilee is the largest freshwater lake in the country. It is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth. The lake's primary source is the Jordan River, which flows through it from north to south, and it is also fed by several underground springs.

The Old and New Testament are full of references to the Sea of Galilee; much of the ministry of Jesus occurred at its shores and among fishermen near the lake. Its importance to modern Israel cannot be overestimated. It is the source of Israel's National Water Carrier, home to many local fauna and flora, and an important tourism hub.

Beth Gabriel, located on the lakeshore, will hopefully be the setting for a future peace agreement between Israel and Syria some day.

About Hadar Aviram

Hadar Aviram is an Israeli-American open water marathon swimmer from San Francisco, CA. Her previous swims include 18 miles out of the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, the 11-mile Portland Bridge Swim, the 3*10k Three Seas in Three Days, the 10km USMS Championship in 2012, nine successful Alcatraz crossings and other races around the world.

When out of the water, Hadar is a law professor at UC Hastings, whose recent research focuses on American punishment and incarceration and on the impact of the financial crisis on criminal justice practices, corrections, and the death penalty.

About the Swim

Hadar plans to cross the Sea of Galilee on the shortest day of the year, December 21, swimming from Amnon Beach in the north to Tzemach Beach in the south. She will swim under strict English Channel Rules, in a textile suit, cap and goggles, accompanied by a motorboat. Her support crew will include family members and friends from the Israel open water swimming community. Pace swimmers will join in for an hour at a time, as per channel rules. Hadar will be fed every 40 minutes using bottles with strings and will not touch people or craft until successfully reaching the South Shore of the lake. The swim is expected to start before dawn and to last approximately nine hours.

About Beth Dror

Beth Dror is a shelter and refuge for israeli LGBT youth who have had to leave home due to their sexual orientation. A dedicated staff of instructors cares for the young people at the center, helping them with education and jobs and providing them with resources to live their lives in dignity and pride.

For more about Beth Dror and the amazing things they do, click here.

Hadar hopes to fundraise at least $2000 for Beth Dror, allowing them to provide sports and enrichment opportunities to the young people they serve.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 23, 2013

Posted on December 23, 2013

Hello, Friends and Supporters,

SUCCESS! On Saturday, I crossed the Sea of Galilee lengthwise! 

See our trajectory here, and a full report on the race here

With your generous help, we raised $2,754 for Beth Dror. I will send them a check as soon as I get home.

But wait! There's more! My pilot for the swim, Lior, has a wakeboard business, and has offered a fun day in the summer for all the Beth Dror youth - free of charge!

In the last few days, I have been inundated with good wishes and congratulations. I have repeatedly said that a crossing is not really a solo event; the crew, on the boat and on ground, is essential for the success of any marathon swim. But you know what? This swim belongs to YOU as well. Your support and generosity has allowed me to rally a spirit of enthusiasm and giving. We've supported a very good cause and have done something athletically notable at the same time. Thank you so very much for being part of this fabulous thing.

All the best,


Posted on December 19, 2013

Posted on December 19, 2013

Hello, Friends and Supporters!

The countdown has begun! Tomorrow at this hour we'll be waking up, eating, greasing up and getting ready to get in the water and swim the length of the Sea of Galilee! As a reminder, you'll be able to follow our progress live online by clicking here.

Yesterday I practiced getting in the water and swimming in the dark. It's an incredibly peaceful and meditative experience.

One thing people don't know about this sport is HOW MUCH PACKING IS INVOLVED. Fortunately, I have the best logistical planner in the world at my side - my mom, Yael, who's been working really hard on making this swim happen. My mom will be running everything on the ground; packing and unpacking, checking out of the rental unit in the late morning, picking us up on the south side of the lake and running us back north to get the cars. 

Also, here's a shout-out to my boat crew: Captain Lior Eliyahu, Head Handler Haim Aviram, aka Dad, Communications Officer Tal Katvan, aka Cousin, and Pace Swimmer Lisa Galfand-Trudler, aka Queen of Everything. I couldn't wish for a better crew and am in very good hands.

Here's what will get done today:

1. I need to prepare my feedings. I'll proably be needing 3.5 bottles, but am making 5. The bottles include diluted applejuice, maltodextrin, and a pinch of ginger powder against seasickness.

2. Finish making the feeding apparatus and create a little pocket for Advil, which I'll be taking at the recommended daily rate to stave off shoulder inflammation.

3. Pack up warm clothes, towels, thermoses, food and gear for the crew.

4. Talk to my pilot to finalize details, entry point and meeting time.

5. Pick up crew and drive up to Amnon Beach.

6. Eat a nice nourishing dinner together.

7. Rest up and go to sleep early!

Tomorrow morning, upon rising, we have to:

1. Grease up (I use a mix of vaseline, lanolin, and--very important--zinc oxide as a sunscreen)

2. Put on bikini and warm-up clothes

3. Eat a nourishing breakfast and drink warm liquids

4. Do a land warmup (running, jumping)

5. Rendezvous with pilot and load up the boat before we get going!

6. Running the crew again through hypothermia protocol, feeding times, pace swim schedule...

Here's what you can do to help, no matter where you are:

1. Send us messages! Comment on Facebook posts or here. My team can read me comments during feeding breaks.

2. Spread the word, including a link to this page! We have only a couple of days left to raise more funds for Beth Dror and their incredible work.

As always, thank you very much for your generosity and support. It's a great thing to do for a great cause and I'm anticipating a lot of fun!



Posted on December 19, 2013

Posted on December 19, 2013

Hello, Everyone!

A fuller update to follow, but just to let you know: on Saturday morning, Israel time, you can follow us live on our SPOT tracker page by clicking here.



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