Ways to Participate

There are many ways to participate in the New York Ride. You can be a Rider, as a Crew member, or a Shabbat-only participant. We also offer one-day ride options and a two-parent plan.

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


Most participants join us for the cycling experience – two days of riding in the Southern Berkshires and the Hudson Valley, ending in Manhattan. All riders have a fundraising requirement, and we provide various tools to assist in your solicitation efforts.

We offer multiple routes on Sunday which return to Isabella Freedman. On Monday, riders will be shuttled to various starting points that are 40 or 60 miles from Manhattan.  All routes are fully supported with rest stops, mechanics, and medical support if needed. You must be at least 12 years old to ride (see our teen safety policy for details).

Sunday Only: If you cannot ride on Monday, you can still join us for Shabbat and ride on Sunday only. Sunday’s ride is a loop back to Isabella Freedman.

Monday Only: If you can only ride with us for one day, join us for Monday’s ride. If coming from Manhattan, riders need to take a MetroNorth train to Brewster (times to be posted in the summer).  You will be met by a Hazon staff person, who will give you a quick safety overview and hand out the turn sheet for the day’s ride. After 4 miles, the one-day riders will merge with our main group and ride together into Manhattan.

Crew Members

The support over the cycling days would not be possible without our volunteer crew. Without ever getting on a bicycle, the Crew has the power to move people. Crew members cheer riders on, and help to ensure a safe and fun ride for everyone. All crew members participate fully in the Shabbat retreat. We have various options to join our crew, we’ll contact all crew members to make sure that your role is the best fit for you.

  • Avodah (work) Crew” drive, cheer,  set up, staff, and clean up rest stops, cheer, mark the route, provide medical support, and yes, to cheer more.

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    Avodah Crew are our main workers and work long hours. You may be asked to assist with heavy lifting, moving and sorting luggage, driving on unfamiliar roads, working in the sun or inclement weather, standing for extended periods of time, running errands, organizing/preparing food and supplies, rest stop set up/shut down and assisting with emergency situations. It is hard and invaluable work; together we make it fun and safe for everyone.

    Avodah crew are divided into various teams, each with their own crew captain. Each team is given detailed instructions for their jobs during the day, along with maps and directions.Avodah crew arrive at Isabella Freedman on Friday along with with the riders.

    In August, you will be assigned to a specific crew team and will be contacted by your team captain. There is a crew briefing on Saturday and Sunday evenings to prepare you for the next day on the road. We try to contact all Avodah Crew before the ride, to ensure that you are the right fit for this crew, which enables us to run a smoother ride and allow you to have a better time.

    Van and Truck Drivers We need drivers for large vans and trucks in advance of, and during, the Ride. We especially need people who can drive the trucks loaded with bikes up to Isabella Freedman on Friday. No special license is needed aside from a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.

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

  • Ruach (spirit) Crew,” for crew members with kids ages 5-17. Drive to rest stops or designated places along the route to cheer on our riders. More cheering and less schlepping than Avodah crew. (Families with kids 4 and under are encouraged to register as Shabbat only participants. You are welcome to join us on the road to cheer family members and visit the rest stops or just hang out on your own during the day.)

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    Ruach Crew is reserved for parents and children who are coming with a riding family member. Ruach Crew assist our Avodah Crew but have reduced hours and responsibility. Parents are able to focus on their children as their primary responsibility. You will receive a detailed packet with maps and your specific roles at the Ride.The main tasks are to create signs, cheer riders, help riders navigate difficult intersections, decorate rest stops, entertain the riders at rest stops, and sort/distribute food and supplies.

    Ruach crew are not be asked to drive a car other than their own. Ruach crew are able to take advantage of activities at Isabella Freedman and are at the final rest stop in time to cheer in the riders as they arrive for the closing ceremony. 30 slots are available.

  • Two Parent Plan: For parents with non-riding children, we offer a hybrid cycling/crew option, where parents’ can alternate cycling and child-care duties over the two days of cycling. Both parents should register for this option, and we will contact you to discuss who will ride which day, and which crew duties fit your family best.

Shabbat Only Participants

For those who just want to join the Hazon community but not ride or crew, you can join us at Isabella Freedman for the Shabbat Retreat component of the weekend. You get to participate fully in the programming from Friday afternoon until Saturday night, and can lounge at Freedman on Sunday morning after the riders depart.

If you would like, you may be able to relax at Freedman throughout Sunday and stay Monday night as well for an extra fee. This is a great option for families with small children when one parent is riding. We have limited space available for Shabbat only guests.


Teams are a great way to come to the Ride 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:

  • 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.
  • You can apply for a Mini-Grant for your project or organization. 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. More mini-grant information here.

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!)

Families on the Ride

HazonFood2010_dgartner_img_8136The New York Ride 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.

New for 2014, Camp Teva continues on Sunday! As parents head out on the ride, kids (aged 6-12) can stay back at Isabella Freedman with their counselors, and continue their exciting activities.

  • Nitzanim – Sprouts (Age 0-5): There will be a designated play space where young children can come accompanied by a parent or guardian. We’ll have activities, games, and arts & crafts materials available.
  • Shorashim – Roots (Age 6-8): Explore the natural world around you! Enjoy fun scavenger hunts, pickle making, storytelling, pool games, and more.
  • Chalutzim – Pioneers (Age 9-12): Hang out with your new friends as you go on an adventure in the woods, showcase your talent creating your own skits, or play ultimate Frisbee!

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 also have 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 in the babysitting/playroom. 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.

Family Fundraising: We enjoy having family groups on the Ride and recognize that raising sponsorship can be a challenge for family members who have the same pool of sponsors to draw from. Therefore, if two or more family members are registered to ride, second and subsequent members have their minimum reduced to $1000. In order to qualify as a “second family member” you must be registering with a fully fundraising family member. If you are unclear if you qualify as a second family member, please contact us.

We are completely happy for “family members” to include unmarried partners, and we are happy for you to self-define as such. At the same time, if you are not family members, this is not the registration category you should use.

Teens on the Ride

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

What it’s Like to be a Teen on a Hazon Bike Ride:

  • Experience the outdoors from a fresh and exciting perspective
  • Support small Jewish environmental organizations (or receive a grant for your own!)
  • Live in an inclusive Jewish community, which celebrates the power of Shabbat
  • Have fun riding your bike with your friends and family
  • Eat delicious, sustainable, and kosher food
  • Learn how Judaism and environmentalism intersect to create a better world

Please refer to our Teen Safety Policy regarding our requirements for younger participants.