Ride for the Living Testimonials

My ride from London to Auschwitz was emotionally tough, but my aim was to focus on the positive side: the liberation that helped free the world. The end is not in history, though. We must live for today and enjoy the opportunities to take part in experiences like this. There is great meaning in supporting a community that not only looks into the here and now, but also looks ahead. I feel extremely privileged to be part of the JCC Krakow community and will never forget the first Ride for the Living. I look forward to taking part in many more to come.

- Robert Desmond - London, UK

Auschwitz cannot be and never was the end of the Jewish story in Poland; it must, like all other times in Jewish history, lead us back to Krakow, back to life, towards a Jewish future. The ride solidified my understanding of Jewish Poland with its rich thousand-year history, a near complete destruction during World War II by the Nazis, and then the remarkable survival and revival of Jewish life in major cities in Poland today. The Ride for the Living brings you through this miraculous story: survival, return, revival, future!

- Rabbi Avi Baumol, Rabbinic Representative of the
Chief Rabbi of Poland in Krakow - Krakow, PL

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 Rothman - Philadelphia, PA

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My family and I had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Ride for the Living, a 55-mile bike ride from Auschwitz to the JCC, from destruction to hope. This experience was the highlight of our two-week trip and will be a long-lasting reminder of the strength of this growing community.

- Samantha Kadis - Denver, CO

Participating in the 2nd Annual Ride for the Living was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. The opportunity to meet such amazing people — survivors, the other Riders, the staff and the volunteers — and to make such a symbolic ride in support of JCC Krakow was an incredible honor.

- Michelle Bannon - Wilmington, NC

Against all odds, both the local community and Jews from all over the diaspora came together to help us build a Jewish Future in Krakow. I knew I had to be a part of the inaugural ride and will be there for every future ride!

- Joanna Fabijanczuk - Krakow, PL

It was an emotional experience in so many ways, from the despair of Auschwitz-Birkenau to the huge pleasure of seeing how the city of Krakow is embracing the growing Jewish community, with thousands of non-Jews turning up for Havdalah and the events being held in the city's seven synagogues.

- Simon Mann - London UK

Ride for the Living created an incredible, unique atmosphere with participants from Poland, the UK and the US. The scenery provided a beautiful backdrop to this meaningful journey. Biking with this special community has brought me that much closer to my Jewish roots.

- Kasia Leonardi - Krakow, PL

A heavy and emotional visit to Auschwitz in the morning turned into a victorious celebration as we biked back to Krakow. What better way to honor our ancestors than by living, breathing, and proving we can conquer obstacles — which translates beyond a bike ride! What an incredible, memorable experience! A true sense of accomplishment as an individual and with the group.

 - Megan Overmuch - New York, NY