English Channel swim, at age 66, benefits AJWS

As a tribute to American Jewish World Service and its upcoming 25th anniversary, past AJWS chair and current board member Jim Meier made an attempt to swim the English Channel on Sept. 2.

The 66-year-old New Yorker dove into the water at 3 a.m. near Dover, England, and swam for nearly 12 hours, but the current changed and began pushing him backwards. He covered 17 miles, but was unable to fully cross the channel, which spans 25 miles from England to France.

“While I like to test my limits, the fact that my efforts will benefit a great cause is crucial,” Meier said before the swim.

Donations in honor of Meier’s swim can be made at www.ajws.org/jimswim or by check to Jim Meier’s Fundraiser, American Jewish World Service, 45 W. 36th St., 11th Floor, New York, NY, 10018.

Meier has run marathons, crossed Finland on skis and swum around the island of Manhattan. At 66, Meier is twice the age of most Channel swimmers, and he trained for the swim for 18 months.

“AJWS has grown from supporting a handful of community-based organizations to 458 partners in the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities,” Meier said. “While fighting poverty, hunger and disease, AJWS grantees and volunteers are also helping to empower individuals and strengthen [societies in] Asia, Africa and the Americas.”