I met ‘Zion Riders’ through Dovaleh – a special and dear person to me, a father figure and a friend. Our acquaintance started in a small cafe in the heart of Tel Aviv, where I used to work and he was (and still is) a regular customer. Dovaleh was a real character; from the outside – a tough Harley Davidson guy who made the entire customers miss a heartbeat every time he started his motorbike, and from the inside – the most gentle soul you would ever encounter that regularly keeps snacks for dogs inside his Harley vest . I followed his story and did a small documentary film about him, and thus had the privilege of discovering a new family – ‘Zion Riders’.
Zion Riders – a united group of people that loves Harley Davidson as much as they love their country – have been revealed to me as people who found true self-liberation and inner peace in the most cinematic classic manner – riding to the sunset on a beautiful custom-made motorbike with the perfect soundtrack blasting through the stereo, and the most important part – riding with friends and being part of a strong rooted community.
In this special group of people you can find a variety of individual personalities; some are young, some are older, most of them animal lovers, some characters are quiet, some are loud, some from the right wing, some from the left (perhaps a little less), policemen, former criminals, managers of leading cultural institutions, truck drivers, business owners, diamond industry, food industry, craftsmen and the list keeps going on and on… A wide range of characters that two things unites them to a group – their love of Harley and their HUGE hearts.
I traveled throughout the country photographing their portraits and discovered new places in Israel that rekindled my appreciation to the raw beauty of the Israeli landscape. I photographed most of them in their homes (that are spread all over) and others in locations that have a personal-symbolic meaning to each one of them – an observation point, an abandoned road or the legendary bar that they all gather in on a daily base.
Despite their tough exterior in first glance, I quickly got to know a group of honest, welcoming, sensitive, open-minded people. ‘Zion Riders’ gave me a chance to escape the Israeli reality for a while and discover a new outlook of life that is adventurous and fascinating from the inside out.