150 of us 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, we flew. We thought about those who never left that terrible place. And in the end, we arrived. 150 of us 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


Ride For The Living (RFTL) is a 4-day event that gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the Jewish past, present, and future and to discover and celebrate Jewish life in Poland. A full program of RFTL activities, including the highlight 60-mile (97 km) bike ride from Auschwitz-Birkenau to JCC Krakow, takes place during the Jewish Culture Festival, which welcomes over 30,000 people and offers around 300 events each year

Whom Does Ride for the Living Help?

JCC Krakow provides a Jewish home for all generations through our Senior Club, whose membership includes 60 Holocaust survivors, Hillel Gimel Student Club, Sunday School, FRAJDA preschool, and Club BET for adults. Here are just two of our 700 Jewish members whose lives you have a chance to impact: 

Besides the Nazi occupation, which I survived by being hidden with my mother, I've lived my whole life in Krakow. The JCC has become the focus of my life. I eat meals here, learn skills here, meet with my friends here, and simply feel at home. I can't tell you how important this place is to me and other people like me. Thank G-d we have this center.

Zofia, Holocaust Survivor

I found out about my Jewish roots when I was 13. At the time, I felt very lonely. There was a Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, but not much else. When the JCC opened in 2008, I learned there were other people like me. The JCC is now my home away from home. I’m at the JCC every day. I finally feel like I am part of a community. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to show the world that Poland is not just a place of cemeteries and concentration camps. We are here and we are proud to be Jewish!

Olga, Hillel Gimel Jewish Student Club Member

Sign Up for 2019

If you're interested in joining the 2019 Ride For The Living (June 2019), let us know via email:



Couldn't make it for the 2018 Ride, but still want to support the cause? Please click the donate button. If you wish to donate on behalf of a participant, please mention their name in the comment box of the donation form.


Click below to see photos from the 2017 Ride for the Living.


Click below to see photos from the 2016 Ride for the Living.


Click below to see photos from the 2015 Ride for the Living.

2014 Photos

Click below to see photos from the inaugural Ride for the Living.


Questions, comments or concerns? Contact us at ridefortheliving@jcckrakow.org