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Ski to Live.

Ski to Live / Golshim L'Chaim. Aspen Colorado. March 1-8, 2011Skiing is a sport that evokes passion in many of us here in Aspen.  Ripping a high-speed run  on-mountain can be akin to self propelled flight.  Skiing means freedom.

Last night we met 8 first-time skiers, all visiting from the Land of Israel.  8 Israeli war veterans came to Aspen, Colorado to learn to ski as part of their recovery from injuries sustained in battle.   A partnership was formed 4 years ago between Aspen Chabad, Challenge Aspen and UJA, Aspen Valley to provide opportunities to disabled Israeli war heros.  For many of these guys it was their first time in the Mountains and their first time seeing snow.  Rabbi Mendel Mintz, Challenge Aspen's Houston Cowan and UJA  Aspen Valley President Robert Leavitt pooled resourses along with several generous supporters to create;

SKI to LIVE (Golshim L'Chaim).

We had a chance to sit down and share a home cooked meal with the vets.  The joi de vie that the Rocky Mountains  can provide and that Aspenites share daily was transferred to  the 8 Sabras.  The spiritual powers of the Mountains can be exceptional, renewing and exciting.    Most of the guys had never heard of Aspen prior to joining Ski to Live.  They shared their on-mountain stories with A-Spin...their first ski day was obviously a life changing experience.   Sheer exhaustion made for an early evening as the guys had to get ready to rip again in the morning.  Today will be their first legit POWDER DAY.

The 4th Annual Ski to Live campaign is ongoing through March 8.  Israeli Filmmaker Yonatan Nir is working with Aspen Local, Nina Hawn Zale on a documentary film about Ski to Live.   Robert Leavitt, President of UJA Aspen Valley is a longtime Aspen Highlands and Challenge Aspen Ski Pro.  He admits that Ski to Live combines his two passions and that giving back to the Soldiers is an undescribable feeling.  The 4th Annual Ski to Live event is happening now.  Skiing is helping to transform the lives of the disabled Israeli War Veterans. SKI to LIVE, we know that feeling It feels like FREEDOM.  Click JCC ASPEN to learn more, to contribute or to volunteer.

Rabbi Mendel Mintz and the Ski to Live Veterans in Aspen, Co. Golshim L'Chaim.

Yogev and Daniel enjoyed their first ski day with Challenge Aspen Coach Dan (center).

Aspen Locals supporting the partnership between Aspen Chabad, Challenge Aspen and UJA Aspen Valley. A moment of silence before the Ski to Live supper.

 Ski to Live. Film Producer Nina Hawn Zale and Stewart Oksenhorn relax with Israli Film Director Yonatan Nir.

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