Registration deadline extended to April 15 for weeklong rider, weeklong non-rider, and vehicles passes!

Shabbat Dinner?

Want to let folks know that Agudas Achim, a reform Jewish congregation will host a special RAGBRAI shabbat dinner on Friday night July 27 to welcome riders (Jews and non-Jews) and their families to their area. Their address is 401 E Oakdale Blvd in Coralville, just outside of Iowa City. Vegetarian dinner will start at 6:00 and shabbat services will be at 7:30. Dress will be very casual.

Personally, I am looking forward to all the things that Iowa has to offer (the beer tents, the the homemade ice cream, the pies) and to connecting to the people of Iowa. And that includes finding out about a Jewish community along the way. No better way than to experience a bit of shabbat with them. I am a newbie to RAGBRAI but I think by Friday I will be ready for something that is more familiar and soothing before hitting the road for the last day!

If you have questions, ask John Wertz at or at 319.337.3813. If you are interested, please RSVP to John. Thanks wish RAGBRAI participants, families, friends, and team mates (whether Jewish or not). This will be a vegetarian dinner starting at 6:00 p.m. Shabbat services will start at 7:30 p.m. for folks interested in staying for that.

5 Replies

KenH, July 10, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Thanks for the head’s up! I’m not Jewish and not a vegetarian but if I am welcome at the service after dinner I will try to attend that.

If this is your first RAGBRAI then you missed being mobbed by the Jewish community in Postville last year. I noticed some people who at a glance appeared to be Amish walking along the route as I rolled into town and when I stopped to dismount and park my bike downtown I was immediately surrounded by people asking me if I were Jewish. They were perfectly happy to talk to me when I admitted that I was not and so I found out that their mission for the day was to make sure every Jewish rider was personally greeted by members of the local Hasidic community, many of whom work at the kosher meat packing plant in town.

Iowa is a special place anyway but RAGBRAI brings out the best of Iowa!


lmgoldberg, July 11, 2018 at 10:24 am

I can’t imagine you wouldn’t be welcome to the service. You can contact John to find out. My guess is this is a very different congregation than the Hasidic folks you met in Postville, who were actually out there to persuade non-observant Jews into being more observant. Kind of an intra-community prostelyzing — a mission unique to the Hasids in the Jewish community and not welcome by everyone is I guess the best way to put it. I think the community in Coralville will be quite different.


Greg Friedman, July 11, 2018 at 11:21 am

I might go. Might skip the meal to make sure I am refueled properly, but services could be interesting


lmgoldberg, July 11, 2018 at 11:25 am

let the synagogue know. I am not coordinating. they seem cool with a tentative count but really it is their event, not mine. just passing it on. thanks.

PS. glad to coordinate going out together. cell phone in reply above.


KenH, July 12, 2018 at 10:32 am

Actually I have contacted them to let them know that I will try to attend and all are welcome as you expected. They seem to be taking care to make the dinner acceptable to observant Jews actually so I assume the Hasids are as welcome as evangelical Christians, who also have a reputation for proselytizing. If I can make it I won’t worry about fueling properly because it sounds a lot like a church potluck dinner to me and if Jewish mothers are anything like Christian church ladies I don’t think we will go hungry!


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