Ride For the Living is an annual fundraising event under the patronage of Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich. The 55-mile bicycle ride from Auschwitz-Birkenau to JCC Krakow is a journey to not only remember Jewish history, but to celebrate and support the miraculous rebirth of Jewish life in Poland today.
For me, the Ride For the Living has a personal significance. My second son, Max, is named for my husband's great aunt, Marianne, who was murdered in Auschwitz. My mother-in-law, Nina, and her family lived in Katowice, about an hour from Krakow. Ironically, my mother-in-law and her parents escaped from Poland a week after the Nazis invaded in September 1939. Marianne was a botanist living on the Channel Islands, far from the Poland. When the Nazis occupied the Channel Islands, Marianne was deported to Auschwitz. The Grunfelds lived in Katowice for several generations; now nothing remains except a plaque at the site of the synagogue that Nina's family built. While I am ambivalent (and frightened) about going to Poland, I believe that I will feel empowered and strong in being able to get on a bike and ride away from Auschwitz. I will be carrying the soul of Marianne on my shoulders and I know Nina wll be smiling down on me incredulous that I would ride from Auschwitz to Krakow!
The 2017 Ride For The Living will take place from June 22 - 25, 2017. Ride For The Living consists of 4 days of educational programs, tours of Krakow, Shabbat dinner with the community, and the highlight of event, the bike ride. Join the Jewish community and friends from around the world by riding or donating today. To learn more about Ride For The Living, please visit our webpage: www.ridefortheliving.org