Thursday, June 30th

The group started their day with a walking tour of the past and present Jewish life in Berlin. The tour included Oranienburgerstr Synagogue. In 1866, the New Synagogue was inaugurated with over 3000 seats which served the increasing number of liberal jews. Today it hosts the Masorti -Conservative Jewish community of Berlin. They walked by the grave of Moses Mendelson, a Jewish philosopher from the 18th century and continued by visiting the amazing Jewish museum. After lunch the group visited the book burning memorial. Later they visited the memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe which consists of a 4.7 acre site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. The group visited the interesting underground exhibition there. They ended their touring day at the Pergamon museum and saw the bright blue glazed-brick of the Ishtar Gate of Babylon from the 6th century BCE. The Jews who were exiled from Israel just before the destruction of the first Temple had to walk through this gate. The group then headed back for dinner at the hotel and met in subgroups.

 

Thursday, June 30th

The group woke up to an orientation, learned about the Jewish community of the city and visited the Ashkenazic and Sephardic synagogues in the “ghetto.” Group 7 then walked across the famous Rialto Bridge and had Pizza lunch in the Jewish Quarter. Then they left Venice for Florence, the capital of Tuscany. They had dinner at “Ruth’s” a kosher restaurant and later in the evening, they had an introduction to the history of the Italian Jews and an evening walk in Florence.

 

Thursday, June 30th

Today the group drove from Lublin to Krakow. Their first stop was the town Tarnow. Before World War II, about 25,000 Jews lived in Tarnow. By the end of the war, the overwhelming majority of Tarnow Jews had been murdered by the Nazis. Although some 700 Jews returned to the city after liberation, virtually all of them soon left to escape local anti-Semitism. The group visited the location of the old Synagogue and stopped at a forest just outside of Tarnow, where they focused on the loss of children in the Holocaust. They then continued to Krakow and visited Plashow – Krakow’s Forced Labour Camp.  They toured the Jewish Quarter in Kazimisz, the Rama shul and Issac shul. The Rama shul is named for Moshe Isserles who wrote the Mapa, the Ashkanazic gloss to the Shulchan Aruch (a famous code of Jewish law). They later headed back to the hotel for a social program and met in subgroups.

 

Thursday, June 30th

The group spent the day learning about the Second Temple period in Jerusalem. They began at the Israel Museum where they saw a large and intricate model of Jerusalem from the period before 70 C.E. They drove to the Old City, walked through the Roman Cardo in the Jewish Quarter, and toured the Herodian Mansion – the remains of a house that once belonged to the high priest in the first century. After lunch they went to the Kotel, the Western Wall, where many of the USYers put notes of prayers and thoughts. The group continued to Robinson’s Arch where the marketplace next to the Temple stood and where people would be able to buy food and animals during their stay on Pilgrimage Festivals. They concluded the tour of the south wall excavation walking up the original steps leading to the gates of the Second Temple. After dinner at the Fuchsberg center, the group divided into boys and girls and enjoyed a separate boys/girls night!

Thursday, June 30th

The group woke up this morning for the first day of touring in Jerusalem. They began with an orientation for their week of Gadna- introduction to the Israeli army life. After lunch they headed to the City of David to learn about the First Temple period. The highlight was walking through Hezekayah’s Tunnel, a water aqueduct that brought water to the city during the time of King Hezekayah (700 BCE). Group 2 had a wonderful time splashing in the water! Group 2 then returned to the Fuchsberg center for some free time. After dinner they went to the pedestrian mall known as Ben Yehuda street for some shopping and hanging out.

 

 

Thursday, June 30th

The group spent their first day of touring around the Kinneret, the sea of Galilee. In the morning they hiked down the Arbel, a fortress from the Second Temple Period. After lunch they cooled off from the hot day with a swim in the Kinneret at the blue beach. They visited the cemetery by the Kinneret where the famous poet Rahel is buried, as well as Naomi Shemer, famous for her song “Jerusalem of Gold.” In the afternoon, the group rode donkeys, dressed up in biblical garments and learned about the history of Zipori. They headed back to Hannaton for dinner and an activity prepared for them by the staff.

 

Wednesday, June 29th

This morning, Bus E woke up and davened schachrit. The group then hit the road for Boston. On the way, they stopped off for a picnic. When they arrived in Boston, they took a duck tour, which took them through the city both on land and in the water in a special vehicle. The group then had some free time to explore Harvard Square. In the evening they were hosted for a delicious Falafel Dinner at a local synagogue. Later, the wheelniks went on a mystery bus ride where they wound up at a movie theater to see Cars 2 in IMAX 3-D!

 

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