2013 Hazon New York Ride

New York Ride & Retreat

Sep 4, 2015 - Sep 7, 2015

Isabella Freedman, Falls Village, CT

Join the People of a Bike for a relaxing and meaningful Shabbat retreat at Hazon’s home at Isabella Freedman, and for two days of glorious cycling through the Berkshires and Hudson Valley into New York City.

It’s more than just a ride: Spend Shabbat hiking on the Mohawk Trail, canoeing on the lake, exploring the Adamah organic farm, and enjoying delicious kosher farm-to-table meals. Practice Judaism in a diverse community, with options including yoga, musical services, and traditional prayers.

Cyclists can then enjoy two days of fully-supported riding: Sunday’s route will explore the Connecticut and Massachusetts Berkshire hills and quaint towns, while Monday will be spent on the Putnam Trail in the Hudson Valley. Non-riders are welcome to join to help crew (a vital and energetic part of the weekend), or just come for Shabbat.

Come to Ride, Crew, or for Shabbat Only

Join us as a rider, and enjoy two days of cycling through the Berkshires and Hudson Valley. We are also always looking for some great crew members who support the cyclists on the road. Or, you can come for shabbat only and still participate in weekend programming.

Pedaling for a Healthy Planet

The Ride raises money for Hazon’s innovative programming in the northeast and around the country, including our sustainable food programs, educational initiatives, and resources for Jewish institutions. The Ride also supports projects & programs of our partners around the world.

Join the people of the bike!
For more information, contact nyride@hazon.org

Upcoming Events and Rides

No Events

Schedule Highlights

- Challah baking, Pickle making, and more
– Various inspirational Shabbat prayer options
– Delicious farm-to-table meals throughout the weekend

– Yoga
– Meditation
– Long hike on the Mohawk Trail
– Canoeing on Lake Miriam
– Exploring the Adamah organic farm
– Sessions on Jewish agriculture, nutrition, and more!
– Communal Havdallah and party

– Various route options through the Connecticut and Massachusetts Berkshires
– Meet the Isabella Freedman goats
– Tour the Topsy Turvy Bus Tour
– Dance Party!

- Ride down the Hudson Valley, into New York City
– Ice cream, closing celebrations, and time to reflect on a great weekend



Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center

We’re delighted to be returning to Isabella Freedman, Hazon’s home in the Connecticut Berkshires.  Isabella Freedman offers delicious sustainable food, rustic cabins set amidst the beautiful hills of the Southern Berkshires.  At Freedman, you’ll be able to enjoy a visit to the goats and chickens, a tour of the organic farm, a peaceful walk around the lake, or an invigorating climb to the Overlook for a dose of morning inspiration.

Housing Options

Housing options include two cabin types as well as tenting. Our fee structure includes a separate housing fee so you can choose your preferred housing option.

Economy cabins house 3-4 people per room, with semi-private baths. Standard Plus cabins house 2-3 people per room, with private baths. Single-occupancy rooms are not available.  Isabella Freedman provides blankets, sheets, towels and soap for everyone staying in cabins.

Experience Isabella Freedman at its fullest by bringing your own tent and camping on the grounds.  Showers and bathrooms are available for those who tent. People who bring their own tent must bring their own sleeping gear as well.


Weekend Retreat / Shabbaton

The Hazon New York Ride Shabbat Retreat takes place at beautiful Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. In this stunning setting, participants celebrate, eat, relax, and learn together in a welcoming, inclusive, and open Jewish community of all ages!

You should expect to end Shabbat feeling full; not only with delicious food prepared from the Adamah farm, but also feeling satisfied from the rich conversations, brilliant sessions, and incredible community. It’s an event you will not want to miss!

Download a schedule of last year’s Shabbat Retreat.

Highlights include:

  • Diverse Jewish community of all ages, backgrounds, Jewish observance and practice.
  • Varied Shabbat service options including egalitarian, traditional, family-focused & alternative.
  • Wellness sessions including yoga, hikes, meditation, qi gong and more!
  • Opportunities to learn about the relationship between Judaism and the environment.
  • Musical havdalah dance party- bring your instruments!
  • Organic, kosher &, consciously-prepared food.
  • Learn about the inspiring work of Hazon and its partners.

It is fantastic to spend shabbat with an inclusive community from all branches of Judaism and all walks of life, where everyone can bond in a quiet setting away from modern distractions.



Over Shabbat at Isabella Freedman:

We are delighted to be working with the Adamah Foods Dining Hall staff, who will help us create a menu that is well balanced and plentiful. We try to source produce from local farms, and use organic ingredients when possible. Meals are mostly vegetarian, although at times we will serve ethically sourced chicken or meat in addition to a vegetarian option. Isabella Freedman is a Glatt Kosher facility, under the supervision of the Hartford Kashrut Commission.

We eat all meals at Isabella Freedman except Sunday and Monday lunch, which are served at rest stops on the route. If you have any allergies or food concerns, please alert us to your sensitivities when you register.

On the Route:

We plan rest stops every 15-20 miles along all routes. Each rest stop has a variety of snacks, typically including energy bars, granola, potato chips, and fruit, as well as water and energy drinks. We strive to provide organic and healthy snacks while recognizing the need for high-energy food for cycling. Each rest stop has shade and rest rooms.

One or two rest stops serve as a lunch stop, which also include sandwiches and other food.

All food and snacks served on the Ride are kosher.


Route and Support

Both riding days offer multiple route options. Sunday’s routes are loops of 40, 60, 80, and 100 miles, all returning to Isabella Freedman. On Monday, we bus all riders a bit south for rides of either 40 or 60 miles, ending in Manhattan. For maps and elevation charts, visit our Route Information page.

We have a short route briefing on Saturday and Sunday nights ahead of our riding days for all riders. Every rider receives a cue sheet with the turns of their chosen route, and all routes are marked with spray paint. When needed, we have additional signage or crew members to ensure that you do not miss tricky turns.

Each route is led by a lead rider who knows the route, and a “sweep car” follows behind the last rider of each group. In addition, we have two mechanic vehicles who are available on the route and at rest stops. We also have volunteer Ride Marshalls, who are seasoned cyclists and can lend a hand.

We also have a team of volunteer medics who are available at each rest stop and an ambulance available in case of emergency. When deemed necessary, we also have a police presence for busier roads.


Teams are a great way to come to the Ride & Retreat with friends or family, or to recruit groups from your school, synagogue, or neighborhood. Every year, teams bring colorful energy to the ride, with matching helmets, custom jerseys, creative names and great team spirit. Here are a few reasons you might want to bring a team to the New York Ride & Retreat:

  • You want to get to know other people at your institution. Teams often spend the summer riding together, which is a great way to meet people and try something new.
  • You want to bring creative Jewish programming to your community. The Ride offers a brand new way to engage with the Jewish community and Jewish values that resonates for many people.
  • It’s a program that people of all ages can attend. Your team can include parents, grandparents and kids of all ages, and the Ride has room for them all.
  • It’s a great way to recruit your friends. Want some ride buddies for the road? Form a team together, and make it a group project.
  • With a team of 4 or more, an organizational team will receive $1000 for any project in line with Hazon’s mission.
    Bringing a team to the Ride is a great way to introduce your program/event/project to the community, and get support for your work. For more info, email jessie.katz@hazon.org

Each team member must pay a registration fee and raise the minimum pledge amount for their registration category. Participants are welcome to join a pre-existing team, or start your own when you register online.  (And don’t worry, you don’t all have to ride together – in fact, you’ll likely all cycle at different paces.  But you can cheer in the members of your team at the finish line!)

The personal pride achieved by our two sons as they completed riding 100 miles over two days taught them a lesson about setting high personal expectations, training and achieving, that no classroom experience can match.
—Jay, 40s

Families on the Ride

HazonFood2010_dgartner_img_8136The New York Ride & Retreat is the perfect place to spend Labor Day Weekend with the whole family! Camp Teva is a fun and safe program for children, filled with engaging and meaningful nature-based activities rooted in Jewish tradition. Our Camp Teva counselors create programs designed to engage, educate, and entertain.

Babysitting and Shmira: Child care is provided by experienced babysitters, interviewed and screened by Hazon. Details will be announced closer to the Ride. Babysitting will be provided on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon. This will be offered as a drop-by service, so depending on your activities feel free to use as much or as little as you would like.

We can also arrange an evening “check in” service for your sleeping children. After you put your kids to bed, our babysitters will be on duty on Friday and Saturday nights. This will allow you to return to the evening activities. Our babysitters will walk by the rooms every 15 minutes and check on them every hour.DSC_0445

Housing: Families with young children are generally housed near each other, making it easier for night time babysitting and access to a communal play area.

Food: There will be fruits, vegetables and kosher healthy snack options for small kids available all day at Camp Teva. You should feel free to bring your own snacks as well. There will be a small refrigerator available. We have an early meal option for most meals.

more information about camp teva

Crew Participation

Crew members are essential to the success of the New York Ride & Retreat. They serve as the backbone of the event – bringing it to life, and providing a support system for the riders in every sense of the word. Crew members join the Hazon community for the Shabbat retreat and are required to pay a minimal registration fee. During the ride they help in a variety of ways – driving support vehicles, cheering and setting-up rest stops along the route (see specifics below).

Being part of the Crew isn’t simply helping out. It is an opportunity to challenge your own conceptions, limits, and beliefs about what it means to work together with other people. It is also demanding… expect long hours and hard work. Nonetheless, you can take great satisfaction knowing that through your efforts, you’ve made the Ride possible.

“This is the third year my daughter and I have been on the crew for the Ride … always a fun, illuminating, connecting, and inspiring experience!”
—Yael P



Sweep Crew »

Most crew will be responsible for keeping track of the cyclists while they’re out on the course. This includes helping cyclists make it through particularly challenging intersections, chasing down lost cyclists, helping with basic bicycle maintenance, giving out extra water and food, and providing transportation to injured or worn out cyclists and their bicycles. Each day, a couple of crew vehicles will be designated as the sweep crew for each route. This crew vehicle is responsible for keeping in visual contact with the last cyclist or group of cyclists on the course.

Each crew team of this sort consists of two people. Basic bike maintenance knowledge and equipment are also desired, but not required. Finally, and maybe most importantly, these crews get to be out on the road with the cyclists, to cheer and motivate throughout the Ride.

Rest Stop & Lunch Crew »

We will be offering a rest stop or lunch stop every 15 to 20 miles. Other crew teams are mainly in charge of setting up and taking down all of these stations and assisting the cyclists as they arrive.

These crews also perform the vital service of helping cyclists keep track of time and making sure that all cyclists stay on schedule to complete each day’s riding before the course closes down in the late-afternoon/evening. Each crew team will consist of at least 3 people and will be assigned to set up, staff, and take down one or two rest stops per day.

Gear & Site Services Crew »

Some crew folks are responsible for transporting everyone’s gear, making initial contact with our arrival destination, and supervising site clean up.

This crew team will be driving or riding in rental trucks provided by Hazon. No special license is needed aside from a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record (and maybe a good dose of confidence). [clear]

Medical Crew »

Persons with medical training including EMTs, nurses, doctors and physical therapists are needed at rest stops and at the end of each day.

At the Hazon Ride and Retreat, we learned that living Jewishly is much more than lighting Shabbat candles and attending services. We breathed, ate, cycled and lived Jewish values together in one of the most amazing holiday weekends I have ever spent. Best birthday gift I ever gave my husband!
—Regina, 40s