History of the Ride
The Israel Ride is a fundraising event benefiting two innovative organizations – The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Hazon. It was founded to show solidarity with Israel at a very difficult time, and to provide new avenues for supporting their critical environmental programs. In May 2003, the first Israel Ride attracted 34 riders and collected over $50,000. In 2005, the partnership expanded to include the Friends of the Arava Institute, and it became the US charity of record. Also in 2005, Jewish National Fund joined as a key marketing partner, establishing a national Team JNF with regional teams across the country.
The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is the premier environmental teaching and research program in the Middle East, preparing future Arab and Jewish leaders to cooperatively solve the region’s environmental challenges. Through its activities, the Arava Institute encourages, fosters, and supports the advancement of environmental cooperation between Israel and its neighbors. Learn more.
Hazon is the largest faith-based environmental organization in the U.S. and is building a movement that strengthens Jewish life and contributes to a more environmentally sustainable world for all. As the Jewish lab for sustainability, Hazon effects change through immersive experiences and inspires individuals and communities to make specific commitments to change with a particular focus on food systems. Learn more.
The Israel Ride has continued to build upon its passion for connecting people to Israel’s land and culture, fostering long lasting friendships, and advocating for a sustainable, secure, and peaceful Middle East. Today, with over 1,800 alumni riders, the Israel Ride provides participants with a one-of-a-kind experience through its diverse itineraries that traverse the Negev Desert and surrounding areas.
Please explore our causes and learn more about our key partners that make riding the Israel Ride a true passion.
About the Ride
The Israel Ride is the premier cycling experience in Israel. Enjoy five glorious days of biking, with route options for recreational riders and experienced cyclists. All routes are fully supported with plentiful local food, wonderful crew and mechanics, and great overnight locations. We also offer a non-riding option called Chaverim.
The week-long Ride includes orientation, five cycling days, and a day off for Shabbat. Each cycling day of the Israel Ride offers new cycling opportunities and challenges, although the basic flow of each day is the same.
There is something for everyone on the Israel Ride – for those new to Israel or seasoned travelers, for those coming on their own, with families, or part of local teams, and for riders of all ages. Learn about the ecological challenges in the region as you explore the Negev desert, and support the work of The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies as well as Hazon.
Participants on the Israel Ride are mostly from the United States, as well as England, Canada, Israel, and Australia. There are riders of all ages (including those celebrating a Bar or Bat Mitzvah), religious backgrounds, and cycling abilities.
Participants pay a registration fee and commit to a minimum fundraising level. We offer incentives to those who raise above their fundraising minimum. Participants cover their own transportation expenses to fly to and from Israel. The Ride covers all costs in Israel including hotels, food, and ride support.
We also provide a series of fundraising tools to all participants, including a personalized donor website (the participant center) and information about both organizations.
For riders from outside of the US, we have developed partnerships in Canada, Australia, and Israel to facilitate fundraising.