Our past volunteers have described their experience on the Ramah Israel Bike Ride and Hiking Trip as rewarding and inspiring. They expressed great satisfaction from being able to provide critically needed support and encouragement to riders and hikers, and in knowing that they have played such an important role in Ramah’s premier fundraising adventure in Israel. As one volunteer put it, “What could be better? I got to participate in a wonderful program and meet great people, all while helping to support Ramah’s superb Tikvah programs. And, perhaps best of all, I got to do all that without having to kill myself climbing any of those crazy mountains.”
What are the expectations of a volunteer and what will my day be like?
Volunteers will work under the supervision and at the direction of our National Ramah Bike Ride and Hiking Trip Coordinator, Jillian Mandell, and lead tour professional, Amir Rockman. Volunteer responsibilities will include: setting up and staffing rest or hydration areas and lunch locations; providing support and encouragement to cyclists at key spots along our riding route; riding in support vehicles to assist with rider safety and to ensure cyclists are hydrated; blogging; taking and editing photos and videos.
If I am interested in doing some cycling or hiking, will that be possible?
We will make every effort to accommodate such a request. Volunteers should, however, understand that this will depend on our staffing and the support needs over the course of the trip. Volunteers should also understand that if they are participating in cycling or hiking, they are doing so in their role as supporting members of our team. That means at all times keeping an eye out for cyclists or hikers who need encouragement and support, and ensuring that safety is always our first priority. For example, it may mean riding or hiking alongside a cyclist or hiker as he or she climbs a difficult hill, reaching out to a support vehicle if a volunteer sees a cyclist low on water, or stopping to provide company and cheer to a cyclist on the side of the road awaiting our mechanic.
Do I have any responsibilities in the evening or over Shabbat?
During the evening and over Shabbat, while volunteers will be free to enjoy our wonderful hotel amenities and engaging programming opportunities, they may also be asked to help with teffilot, evening programs, and Shabbat activities.
Are there any costs to participating as a volunteer?
All costs for hotel, meals, and other incidentals (e.g., entrance fees), will be covered by Ramah. Volunteers will be responsible for their own airfare. For those arriving on May 9 and departing on May 16, Ramah will provide transportation to and from the airport.
We encourage all volunteers to set a personal fundraising goal of $1,000. These funds are crucial in supporting our programs for children, teens, and young adults with disabilities.
What will my rooming situation be?
Volunteers will stay along with our riders and hikers in hotels and guesthouses along our route. Volunteers may choose to room in a double with another cyclist or hiker. Volunteers who do not have a particular rooming request will be in double (or possibly triple) rooms with other volunteers.