JFN on the Israel Ride

Sun, Oct 24: Route MapThe 2021 Israel Ride with JFN

October 22nd – 24th (Friday – Sunday), 2021

The 2021 Israel Ride has created a special option for Israel Ideas Festival participants to join!

$500 Registration and $500 minimum gift includes:
  • Friday and Saturday nights in Mitzpe Ramon with all Shabbat* meals and programming;
  • Sunday riding 30-60 miles from Mitzpe to Kibbutz Ketura, with full support and bike rental;
  • Programming and tours at Kibbutz Ketura and the Arava Institute upon arrival;
  • Sunday breakfast at the hotels, lunch on the road, and welcome snacks at Ketura;
  • Transportation to the Eilat Ramon airport in the late afternoon;
  • Flight from Eilat Ramon to Ben Gurion around 6 pm.

For more information, please contact Elana Eyal:
info@israelride.org or 212.908.2513.

Contact Us!

*Shabbat guests are welcome (Friday & Saturday nights only) at an additional cost, on a first-come-first-served basis. Includes:
Friday night dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; A double occupancy room at our hotel; Shabbat services and activities.

Friday, OCTOBER 22, 2021: MITZPE RAMON

Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, begins Friday at sundown (sunset is 5:44 pm). Shabbat is an integral part of the Israel Ride, marking the transition from the work week to the day of rest. We invite you to celebrate in a way that is authentic to you, and we remind you that we have various traditions within our community. We ask you to be open-minded and respectful of various forms of religious expression, and encourage you to try something new and unfamiliar. We gather Friday for a festive Shabbat dinner, and again on Saturday evening for Havdalah, when we say farewell to Shabbat.


Friday Schedule:
  • 2 pm *Participants must arrive in Mitzpe Ramon on Friday by 2pm to be fitted for a bike.*
  • 5:15 Walking group to local Orthodox Synagogue
  • 5:15 Welcome Shabbat / Candle lighting (5:44 sunset)
  • 6:00 Learning and discussion opportunities
  • 6:00 Reform and Conservative service options
  • 7:00 Friday night dinner

Accommodations: Mitzpe Ramon, Isrotel Ramon Inn and Ramon Suites


Saturday (Shabbat), OCTOBER 23, 2021: MITZPE RAMON

Saturday programming is all optional. We offer Rider-led prayer options, discussions, hikes, yoga, learning opportunities with Hazon and the Arava Institute, and other activities based on the makeup of the Ride.

After morning services, Hazon alumni share about their participation in fellowships and immersive retreats in a panel discussion. In the afternoon, the alumni of the Arava Institute discuss their experiences living and learning together.

Shabbat closes with a Havdalah ceremony as the sun sets over Makhtesh Ramon. (Shabbat ends 6:37pm)

*Participants must attend a safety briefing during the day on Saturday ahead of riding. (Timing TBD).

Saturday Morning:

  • 7:30 – Breakfast opens (until 10)
  • 8:00 – Walk (stroll) to the Makhtesh
  • 9:00 – Yoga
  • 9:00 – Traditional Egalitarian service led by riders
  • 10:00 – Introduction to Mitzpe Ramon
  • 11:45 – Hazon Panel

Saturday Afternoon / Evening:

  • 12:30 – Lunch
  • 3pm – Mincha afternoon services
  • 3:30 – Arava Alumni Panel
  • 4:30 – Walk to the Makhtesh for Havdalah
  • 6:45 – Route Briefing
  • 8:30 – Dinner



Sunday Morning:

We maximize sunlight and beat the heat by starting between 6:30-7 am.
Breakfast is served at the hotel before we depart.
Morning prayers, bike mechanics, and organized stretching are also available.

All riders start the day with a 1/2 mile ride to the edge of Makhtesh Ramon.
Optional morning prayer service and a group photo.

5:30 – Breakfast Opens
6:10 – Morning prayer group rides out
7:00 – Everyone else rides out (Chaverim van out)
7:15 – Group photo at Makhtesh edge
7:30 – Roll out!

Sunday Afternoon:

Riders depart together in the morning and from each rest stop.
While rides do spread out, our police permits require us to keep our groups together.
We have rest-stops every 12-15 miles, and a longer lunch stop midday.

Everyone ends the day at Kibbutz Ketura, home of the Arava Institute.
Transportation will be provided late afternoon to Eilat Ramon airport.

2pm – Shomrim arrive (by bus)
3pm – All other groups arrive at Ketura (by bike)
3:45 – Various tours of Ketura and Arava Institute
6pm – Flight from Eilat Ramon to Ben Gurion
(Leave for Eilat Ramon airport late afternoon)

Riding Groups:


Shomrim (“guards”) avg 35 miles a day, 10-12mph, typically until lunch, with bus tours in the afternoon.

Shomrim have a stunning descent into Makhtesh Ramon, climbing out the other side. After a desert plateau, cross Wadi Faran, one of the largest valleys crossing the Negev Desert, with a short steep climb out before your final stop for the day. After lunch with the Tzofim at Shizafon, you’ll bus to Kibbutz Ketura for the afternoon activities at the Arava Institute.

DISTANCE: 32 miles, 1700 feet climbing (525 m climbing)


Tzofim (“scouts”) avg 55 miles a day, 13-15mph, from hotel to hotel.

Tzofim will descend into Makhtesh Ramon and spend most of their day on the main north-south road in the center of the Negev desert. After climbing out of the Makhtesh, you cross the desert plateau, climb out of the Faran valley, and then have lunch at Shizafon with the Shomrim. After a final descent, you arrive at Kibbutz Ketura and the Arava Institute.

DISTANCE: 62 miles, 3000 feet climbing (900 m climbing)


Chalutzim (“pioneers”) avg 75 miles a day, 16-19mph, with extra hills and distances between overnights.

Chalutzim will follow the Tzofim route south, but will ride faster and have lunch further south. You’ll add an out-and-back spur that goes to Shacharut, a small desert community overlooking the Arava Valley. You retrace their route a little, and end the day with the descent into the valley itself, joining the other riders at Kibbutz Ketura and the Arava Institute.

DISTANCE: 89 miles, 3800 feet climbing (1150 m climbing)


Sun, Oct 24: Route Map


For more information, please contact Elana Eyal at info@israelride.org or 212.908.2513.

Contact Us!