We started out from a terrible place under an angry sky. We rode as strangers, as friends, and as families. We climbed, we sweated, we fell, and we flew. We thought about those who never left that terrible place. And in the end, we arrived. Together, under a blue sky, strangers no more, having made a journey that took us farther than the miles we rode. Welcomed into a place that has become for many a home. Close to that terrible place but at the same time far, far away.
Jonathan Ornstein, JCC Krakow Executive Director
This was a symbolic ride, reaffirming the Jewish people's unmistakable will to survive and thrive. The experience moved me beyond what I could have ever expected, and seeing the hundreds of Poles applauding and cheering upon entering the courtyard of the JCC at the end of a hard and rigorous ride brought me to tears, tears of joy, of hope, of connection, and promise.
Marc, 2015 & 2018 RFTL Participant
Although I would not consider myself a religious Jew, I felt very spiritual by participating in the Ride. It was an empowering experience. I personally bonded with people I met and cried for the people who perished in the camps. Visiting Auschwitz and Birkenau was sobering and overwhelming. Biking from the gates of Birkenau to renewed life in Krakow was a change from sadness to hope. The images will stay with me forever. I am so grateful that I was able to experience this so I can tell people how important it is to remember. I will never forget.
Joan, 2019 RFTL Participant