Poland rabbi leads 'Ride' for the Living at JCC

By Ben Tinsley

DALLAS — The day after Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland, speaks at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance’s June 4 Upstander Series presentation at the Aaron Family JCC, he’ll head downstairs to the fitness center to lead more than 30 people on a stationary bicycle ride.
The J’s “Ride For The Living” indoor spinning event takes place on 35 Spinner Blade Ion cycling bikes the morning of  Friday, June 5.
The J event is designed to be a stationary version of the June 4-7 bicycle ride of the same name that spans 55 miles from Auschwitz to Krakow. (That event is in its second year.)
“This is our first virtual ride,” said Terri Arends, fitness director at the J. “As we ride, we will look ahead at a screen that will contain powerful quotes and pictures.”
She added, “The video will recreate the trail on a  broad spectrum.
“There will be some remembrance of the Holocaust on the screen but also quotes from MLK and Gandhi.”

Social, Q&A session

The Auschwitz-to-Krakow ride — originally created in honor of March of the Living — is designed to help remember Jewish history and support the rebirth of Jewish life in Poland.
This original Ride for the Living is an annual fundraiser under the patronage of Schudrich himself.
In a Facebook post last year, Rabbi Avi Baumol, who serves in Krakow, gave high praise to the event.
“We conceived this idea in order to reflect the miracle of the reemerging Jewish community of Krakow just down the road from Auschwitz,” Baumol said in the post, which was repeated on wire services.
In a comment forwarded to the Texas Jewish Post through Arends, Schudrich emphasized the event’s magnitude.
“The Ride for the Living is so important because Jewish life in Poland is a miracle after the German Shoah and the Soviet oppression,” Schudrich said. “Jewish communities around Poland are growing, and while we acknowledge our loss as a people here, we must focus on the future.”
The Friday J event will be followed by a social and question-and-answer session for Michael Schudrich.
The idea for the J event evolved after Steve Becker, JCC Association’s vice president of health and wellness, forwarded  to Artie Allen, J chief executive officer, some information about other “Ride for the Living” satellite events that were used as fundraisers.
This started the ball rolling for this idea.
“I think it was in some emails from New York, the national headquarters of the JCC association,” Arends said.
“They were getting the word out about the satellite fundraiser that happened at a couple of places and they sent it to me.
“We figured we’d try an educational version in honor of Ride for the Living.”
There are still bikes available, but they are on a first-come, first-served basis, officials said.
To inquire about the event, contact Arends at tarends@jccdallas.org or 214-239-7137.Schudrich leads ‘Ride for the Living’ at JCC.

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