What is Ride For The Living?
Ride For The Living (RFTL) is a four-day event that gives you a chance to immerse yourself in Krakow’s Jewish past, present, and future. Come discover and celebrate Jewish life in Poland. RFTL boasts a full program of activities, including a private guided tour of Auschwitz, tours of Krakow, participation in the largest Shabbat dinner in post-war Krakow, and an inspiring one-day, 60-mile (97 km) bike ride from Auschwitz-Birkenau to JCC Krakow. This all takes place during the Jewish Culture Festival, which welcomes over 30,000 people and offers around 300 events each year.
The Ride was inspired by Robert Desmond, who rode his bicycle 1,350 miles (2,180 km) from London to Auschwitz, visiting WWII sites of liberation along his journey. After joining the JCC and learning about the rebirth of Krakow’s Jewish community, Robert realized his ride should not have ended in a place of loss, but rather at a place of hope - JCC Krakow. He then decided on finishing his ride, cycling from Auschwitz to the JCC Krakow, joined by members of the local Jewish community and friends from around the world.
Please note that activities for the four-day Ride For The Living program begin at approximately 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 27th and end at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 30th.
*This itinerary may be subject to change*
Thursday, June 27
Private tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau and memorial ceremony
Welcome dinner to be held in a historic 17th century synagogue
Friday, June 28
Ride For The Living: Cycle from Auschwitz-Birkenau to JCC Krakow on a flat, enjoyable, and meaningful 60-mile (97 km) route or choose the shorter 14-mile (22 km) route or longer advanced route. (Please contact us to learn more about the additional advanced route)
Separate day of engaging programming for non-riding participants
Shabbat dinner with over 600 participants, including Krakow's Jewish community, as part of the Jewish Culture Festival
Saturday, June 29
Jewish Culture Festival events or a selection of tours of Old Town Krakow, the Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz, the former Krakow Ghetto, or local food establishments. Discounted Festival tickets will be available for Ride For The Living participants
Shalom on Szeroka: Open-air musical concert featuring highlight acts from the Jewish Culture Festival and Havdalah with 20,000 people
Private cocktail reception overlooking the concert
Sunday, June 30
Closing celebration and garden party