Profile of an Israel Outdoors Alum – Ping Pong Style

Here at Israel Outdoors we are always interested in finding out more about our participants and learning about the interesting things that they do. Joe Solomon was just on a free Taglit-Birthright Israel trip with Israel Outdoors last November, and tells us about an annual ping pong tournament he created to raise money for City of Hope and cancer research.  Thanks for sharing Joe!

Where are you from?
I am from Cheltenham, PA.

Where do you live currently?
I currently live in Philadelphia, PA

Tell us more about what you do.
I manage the personal training department for Sweat Fitness in Philadelphia.

What is City of Hope?
City of Hope is a not for profit clinical research center. They are one of the leading research and treatment centers for cancer, diabetes, and other life threatening diseases worldwide. The story of City of Hope began a century ago when a young man collapsed and died on the sidewalk in Los Angeles after he was unable to receive medical attention. Following this tragedy, volunteers founded the Jewish Consumption Relief Association. The JCRA raised money during a benefit concert to start a free sanatorium for anyone to needed medical attention.

How did you get involved with this organization?
I first learned about City of Hope through Sweat Fitness, who once a year holds a “Fitness for Hope” charity event at our local gym. After learning the story behind what City of Hope stands for, I knew I needed to get involved.

How did you decide on a ping pong tournament?
Our gym actually has a ping pong table located in the upstairs of our gym. Throughout the day, many members challenge each other in a game of ping pong, and over the past few years there is a big following of members who love to play after their workout. I thought it would be great to use our Fitness for Hope charity event and hold a tournament to name the best ping pong player at Sweat Fitness – I finished in 2nd place…

What is your best City of Hope story?
My favorite part of working with City of Hope is every day when people ask me when the next Fitness for Hope ping pong tournament will be held.

Joe SolomonWhy did you decide to go on an Israel Outdoors trip?
I live an active lifestyle and I felt that the Israel Outdoors trip for me was the way to go.

What was your favorite part of your Israel Outdoors trip?
There are so many great stories to tell, but a few stick out. The night we stayed in the Bedouin tents, my friend Scott and I started a game of “Cards against Humanity” and we had the entire tent laughing. Another story that sticks out was when we all participated in water aerobics in the hot springs.

Anything else we should know about you?
Since we’ve gotten back a few months ago, many of us have kept in touch. This weekend I plan to visit many of the friends I met on my trip in New York City.