Chaverim (Hebrew for friends) is a week-long unforgettable touring option built for actively mobile, non-cycling family members of Riders. Participants will travel to incredible sites each day while the other groups cycle, and can share their experiences each evening with the Riders at the shared group accommodations. Be prepared to experience Israel through walking, moderate hiking, and exploring places you’ve never before seen by foot or bus!
This full package costs $2950, increasing to $3100 on May 1, and is fully inclusive with all overnight accommodations, all meals including Shabbat, a private tour guide, daily transportation, entrance fees to various sites visited around the country, and transportation from Eilat to the center of Israel. There is no fundraising requirement for the Chaverim. Chaverim who wish to book single rooms for the duration of the Ride will pay a $1500 single room supplement.
Monday, November 4
We have no official programming on Monday, but encourage riders to come early to Jerusalem.
Tuesday, November 5: Orientation
Orientation will be held on Tuesday in Jerusalem. You need to be at the hotel no later than noon, but your room may not be ready until 3 pm.
There are optional tours in the morning. All participants are required to be at the orientation starting at 4:15 pm.
Wednesday, November 6: To Ashkelon
|8:15||Departure from Hotel|
|9:00||Wahat al-Salam/Neve Shalom – a binational community that specializes in education|
|11:30||Lunch at Luzit with the Shomrim|
|1:00pm||Adullam Grove Nature Reserve – option of two hikes|
Overnight in Ashkelon with all riders
Thursday, November 7: To the Northern Negev
|8:00||Netiv Ha’assarah – take an active part in the creation of the peace wall|
|10:30||Black Arrow outlook at Gaza border|
|1:00pm||Shvil HaSalat (Salad Trail) – an unforgettable experience in the greenhouses of the region|
Overnight Mashabei Sadeh with Tzofim group (if your partner is in a different riding group, you will be roomed with another Chaver/a)
Friday, November 8: To Mitzpe Ramon
|8:30||David Ben Gurion’s Desert Home|
|9:30||Nachal Zin lookout and Ben Gurion’s gravesite|
|10:00||Ein Avdat hike – one of Israel’s most striking and beautiful sites|
|11:30||Lunch at Sde Boker with Shomrim and Tzofim|
Overnight in Mitzpe Ramon with all riders
Saturday (Shabbat), November 9: Mitzpe Ramon
Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath, is an integral part of the Israel Ride. During the day, all programming is optional, but we offer communal prayer options, discussions, hikes, and yoga, plus opportunities to learn about Hazon and the Arava Institute.
Shabbat begins at sundown on Friday. We come together to mark the transition from the work week to the day of rest with candle lighting. There are prayers and other options led by participants followed by a festive Shabbat dinner.
On Saturday morning we host an intimate Shabbat service. There will also be options to explore the area, practice yoga, and more. After services, people connected to Hazon share the Hazon vision in a panel discussion. In the afternoon, the alumni of the Arava Institute discuss their experiences living and learning together.
Shabbat closes with Havdalah, a ceremony which we conduct as the sun sets over Makhtesh Ramon.
Friday Evening Schedule:
|4:15||Walking group to local Orthodox Synagogue|
|~4:30||Candlelighting on your own|
|5:30||Gather to welcome Shabbat|
|6:00||Reform and Conservative services|
|7:30||Friday night dinner|
|7:30||Breakfast opens (until 10)|
|8:00||Walk to the Makhtesh|
|9:00||Traditional Egalitarian morning services|
|10:00||Introduction to Mitzpe Ramon|
Saturday Afternoon / Evening:
|3:30||Arava Alumni Panel|
|4:30||Walk to the Makhtesh for Havdallah|
Overnight in Mitzpe Ramon with all riders
Sunday, November 10: To the Arava Valley
|6:00||Optional prayers overlooking the Makhtesh|
|7:15||Group photo at Makhtesh overlook – wear your Chaverim shirt|
|9:00||Jeep tour of Makhtesh Ramon|
|12:30pm||Lunch at Shittim with Tzofim and Shomrim|
|2:00||Kasui dune hike and Leopards’ Temple|
|2:45||Har Ayit overlook on the way to Kibbutz Ketura|
There are afternoon tours of Kibbutz Ketura and the Arava Institute available for all participants.
Overnight in various Arava Kibbutzim, with all riders
Monday, November 11: To Eilat
|Breakfast timing differs based on which kibbutz you are staying at. All Chaverim will take shuttles to the first tour stop of the day.|
|7:30||Hai Bar nature reserve, Yotvata|
|10 am||Timna Park, ancient copper mines|
|1:30||Tzafra Pass hikes|
|2:30||Drive down to Eilat and bus to Har Yoash overlook|
|3:00||Beach party with riders|
Overnight in Eilat with all riders.
Tuesday, November 12: Travel Day
Buses depart early for those going on the post-Ride tours. Cabs are available to take people to the airport or bus station for your journey north.