United Synagogue Youth and Kadima inspire Jewish youth to explore, celebrate and practice ethical values, Jewish Living, Zionism and community responsibility based on the ideology of the Conservative Movement.

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June 26-28, 2015

Friday was a special day as we got to explore the city of Tarnow, which past Pilgrimage groups didn’t always get to visit, but we were fortunate enough to do so this year! In the village of Zbylitovska Gora we saw a memorial for the devastating mass shooting of many children during the Holocaust. Walking through the memorial was a very powerful experience for all of us and it brought us closer as we comforted each other.

After this deeply emotional experience, we spent time in the Jewish Quarter in Kraków, where we got had free time in the Market Square.  We went souvenir shopping, ate delicious ice cream, and had a lot of fun together. Our final stop for the day was at the hotel in Kraków where we brought in our first Shabbat together as a group!

We woke up bright and early on Saturday, ready to go and pray at Tempel Synagogue in Kraków. Because of an upcoming Jewish music festival in the city, many different cantors stopped by and joined us to pray at the synagogue, which made for a very musical and lively service. The Orthodox services were a different experience for us but we managed to follow along with the rest of the congregation.

After lunch at the JCC we listened to the rabbi as he told us all about the flourishing Jewish community in Poland, a powerful reinforcement that Jewish life could thrive in this area after the horrors of the Holocaust. Shabbat ended with a chorus of “Shavua Tovs,” hugs, and an early bed time so we could rest up for what was going to be an emotional Sunday.

We woke up very early the next morning and got ready to tour concentration camps in Auschwitz and Warsaw. Accompanied by dark clouds and thunderstorms, we entered the place that many of us had heard about since our early days in Hebrew school. However; no amount of schooling could prepare us for the range of emotions we felt. Everything from sadness to anger to disbelief to pure shock at what we saw.  Rooms full of personal belongings, shoes and even human hair brought us to tears. It really helped to be together as a group during such an emotional time, and it seemed like each step we took brought us closer together. We walked arm-in-arm, some of us with Israeli flags on our backs, reminding ourselves to not take our connection to Judaism for granted. We ended our day with some personal journal writing, as well as discussion in our subgroups to talk about the day.

Posted on June 29, 2015
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Register for a USY Summer Program today

Registration for 2015 USY Summer Programs is now open – see the world as only USY can show it to you! Spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to apply (using our online application tool) or go to www.usy.org/escape for more information.

Posted on August 15, 2014
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Ways to Save

Participating on a USY Summer Program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we do not want finances to prevent anyone from participating. Click here for information about a number of sources for scholarship funds to help support your summer experience.

Posted on August 15, 2014
USY DE PMS527 and Cyan small for web

Register for a USY Summer Program today

Registration for 2015 USY Summer Programs is now open – see the world as only USY can show it to you! Spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to apply (using our online application tool) or go to www.usy.org/escape for more information.

Posted on August 15, 2014
USY DE PMS527 and Cyan small for web

Ways to Save

Participating on a USY Summer Program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we do not want finances to prevent anyone from participating. Click here for information about a number of sources for scholarship funds to help support your summer experience.

Posted on August 15, 2014
Seaboard Kamp Kadima3

What is Kadima?

Kadima is the international youth organization for Jewish pre-teens. Sponsored by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Kadima offers programs through your local Conservative congregation. Kadima activities include: Games Sports Israel Arts & Crafts Conventions Holiday Celebrations Cultural Activities Social … Continue reading

Kadima Coast to Coast

Kadimaniks across North America have participated in a variety of fun programs and events in their community and in their regions. Whether volunteering in a soup kitchen or rockin’ out on a disco boat ride, learning about Israel or breaking … Continue reading

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