Monday, June 27th
The group landed safely in Israel early this morning and were ecstatic to have finally arrived! First, they went first to Yemin Moshe which overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem. After a special welcoming ceremony, the group drove to the Fuchsberg Center for Conservative Judaism, their home for the next few days. They had a few hours to sleep before lunch, laundry, and orientation. In the afternoon, the group split up and went on different walking tours of the neighborhood and played some ice breaker games in the park. After dinner Group 4 headed out to the pedestrian mall known as Ben Yehudah Street, for shopping, snacking, and hanging out.
Sunday, June 26th
Bus D had a great and restful first Shabbat together. Today, the group was excited to go out and see the Windy City! This morning Bus D began their day at the Museum of Science and Industry. Next, the group has lunch in Millennium Park. There, they took pictures at the giant bean sculpture and listened to a free concert in the park. Later, the wheelniks had free time to explore the shops on the Magnificent Mile. In the evening, the group stopped off at a wheel’s favorite, Ken’s Diner, for some delicious burgers and soy milkshakes. Finally, the group finished the day with a get-to-know-your-staff evening program before meeting up with their host families.
Sunday, June 26th
The group had a fantastic first Shabbat together. This morning they stopped outside the Schindler Factory- today a museum which describes Jewish life in Krakow before the war and after the Nazi invasion. From there they visited the ghetto wall in Krakow. The group later traveled back to Warsaw. They visited the “Heroism Trail” which highlights the Rapport Monument, a tribute to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and Mila 18, the main bunker of the uprising fighters. At the Rapport Monument the group also had the very unique opportunity to participate in a ceremony with IDF soldiers. They had a session about their trip in Poland and after final dinner in Poland the group headed for the airport. They are very excited to be flying to Israel tonight!!!
Friday, June 24th
This morning Bus D returned to their host synagogue for Shacharit and led the prayers for the local congregation. The group then boarded the bus for the ride to Chicago. On the way, the wheelniks prepared for Shabbat by learning some new Shabbat songs. When they arrived in Chicago, the group picked up a few things for their “All that Jazz” themed Shabbat. They then checked into their hotel, got a quick rest, and cleaned up. Later, they will come together dressed in their finest clothes for their first Shabbat as a group. Bus D had a fantastic week and, although many of them did not know each other before the week began, they are truly beginning to feel like a family. Shabbat Shalom!
Friday, June 24th
The group traveled to the town of Auschwitzem for Shacharit at the Jewish Center. They visited at Auschwitz concentration camp, where they began the tour by walking under the famous sign, “Arbeit Macht Frei,” “Work Will Make You Free.” They entered several buildings and learned about what went on in the everyday life of the camp’s victims. Then they drove to Birkenau death camp, where they began by walking through the famous guard tower featured in almost every book on the camp. They went inside barracks, stood at the very place where Joseph Mengele chose who would live and who would die, and saw the former crematoria that were destroyed at the end of the war. At the end of the tour the group gathered for a rainy memorial ceremony. They headed back to Krakow, were they will spend Shabbat. The group is excited to spend its first Shabbat together, singing, learning Pikei Avot and relaxing. Shabbat Shalom!
Thursday, June 23rd
Today Bus D made their way from Syracuse to Cleveland. On the way the group stopped at beautiful Niagara Falls. There, they went on a board ride called Maid of the Mist, which took them towards the thundering waterfall. Afterwards, the group boarded the bus for the ride to Cleveland. Once in Cleveland, Bus D stopped by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Inside they saw relics from Rock and Roll’s greats including Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. After rocking out to some classic tunes, the group went to a kosher Subway restaurant for dinner. In the evening they went out to play a game of whirlyball. Whirlyball, a Wheels favorite, is a game that combines bumper cars, lacrosse, and basketball. The game was an awesome end to a great day.
Thursday, June 23rd
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 Germans. 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 Forced Labour Camp. The group ate dinner at the Izaak Synagogue and then walked to their hotel in Krakow where they will be staying until Sunday. At the hotel they met in their sub-groups and were introduced to their summer “vaadot” (working and planning groups).
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