August 5, 2014

Today we left the Nation’s capital and made our way just a bit further north to Philadelphia. During Shacharit this morning we spoke about Tisha B’Av and the tragedies that have occurred on this day throughout the history of the Jewish people. We finished the service with ideas of hope and peace for the future. After departing our host synagogue we went to tour the monuments in DC and then we started the drive to Philadelphia. We stopped along the way to have mincha services, which are a little more involved because of Tisha B’Av. In the afternoon we got to Philadelphia and ran up the “Rocky Steps” before heading to our last host synagogue. We had a nice evening participating in our last sicha- discussion group, and then headed dinner before heading to our host homes. 

August 4, 2014

Today our bus took on the Nation’s Capital! We started off the day at the Newseum- a museum dedicated to the history of journalism. We were able to follow up on tons of interesting news stories from throughout our lives. From there we went to the Holocaust Museum. It was a somber tour, but a truly important stop during the day and a nice way to lead into Tisha B’Av which began later in the night. After the Holocaust Museum we went to the National Mall and had lunch there.  After lunch, we had the choice to visit a number of different Smithsonian museums that are located along the Mall. Many of us chose the Air and Space Museum, while others hopped around between the Natural History Museum, American History Museum, and others. After our time on the Mall we went to our host synagogue for the evening to play some basketball and unwind before Chinese food for dinner and our Tisha B’Av services. It was really beautiful to have everyone on the bus participate in reading Eicha or in another part of our service. 

August 3, 2014

After an emotional weekend we were all excited to continue our adventure from Chicago to Cleveland. We davened Shacharit and ate breakfast before heading on the bus. On our bus ride to Cleveland we went through our last time change and listened to Time Warp just like we have every time we changed time zones this summer. It was definitely a lot of fun and led to an amazing dance party on our bus. It was so much fun and made the long bus ride so much more enjoyable. We also got to watch a video about Pilgrimage and had time to talk with our staff about going to Israel in the future. It definitely got many of us excited about the future and potentially going to Israel with USY. Once we got to Cleveland we went to play Whirly Ball, a game that is a combination of bumper cars, lacrosse and basketball. We had so much fun and ate pizza for dinner which only made the night better! We headed back to our hotel for Maariv and some sleep.

August 2, 2014

This morning we got to sleep in a little late and were delivered breakfast in bed by our staff. We met for a beautiful Shacharit, Torah service and Musaf. We then had our second to last sicha with our staff before lunch and chofesh (free time). We all had time to hang out with our friends and even take a dip in the pool. We then davened Mincha and had a sicha with our group leader. It was very interesting and led to some really great discussion. That night we were surprised to find out that seudah shleeshet (the third meal) was a Chicago delicacy, deep dish pizza! Our delicious dinner was followed by an emotional and beautiful slow ruach session. We concluded Shabbat with Maariv and a beautiful Havdallah service. After Shabbat ended, we continued the fun with a talent show! Many of the Wheelniks showed off their talents from dancing and singing to throwing cards through tin foil. We definitely had a lot of laughs and a great night. We closed the night with two of our Wheelniks, Stefanie and Courtney, singing a song they wrote about our bus. It was a great way to end the day and our last Shabbat together as Bus B.

August 1, 2014

After a very restful and fun night at our host homes, we met up at the synagogue for Shacharit. We then headed off to start our day. Our first stop was the Science and Industry Museum where we had a chance to learn hands on about a wide range of thing from tornadoes to how the body works. Some of us even got to dissect a cow’s eye! After our educational morning, we headed to the John Hancock Building where we got to ride the second fastest elevator in the world up to the top of the building. We saw the most amazing view of Chicago and even got to go on the tilting wall where you are suspended over the city. It was definitely a little scary but was well worth it for the view. After our fun morning we headed to check into the hotel before our final Shabopping (Shabbat shopping) at Walmart. We gathered together for our final Kabbalat Shabbat which was filled with more Ruach and energy than we even thought possible! We even had an older woman stop into the room because she heard what was going on. She asked if she could watch for a few minutes with tears filling her eyes. Turns out she was Jewish and thought that a group of Jewish teenagers praying together was the most beautiful sight. Following, we had a delicious dinner and amazing Ruach session before heading off to bed for some much needed sleep.

July 31, 2014

This morning we woke up and headed back to Camp Chi for a beautiful Shacharit outside in the fresh, crisp air. It was really nice to get a chance to experience Shacharit in a new environment instead of davening in a hotel every morning. We then had a delicious pancake, cereal and toast breakfast before continuing our outdoor adventure. We took a duck tour around the Wisconsin Dells through forests and down the Wisconsin River. We each even had a chance to drive the boat around a lake! It was really fun to get to drive since many of us don’t even have our driver’s license yet. After our entertaining tour, we boarded the bus and headed out to Chicago. We spent some time walking around and shopping at Navy Pier. We then got to take another boat ride called the Seadog around Lake Michigan to see the beautiful skyline and to get a little water splashed on us. We ended the night at North Suburban Synagogue with a delicious pasta dinner and learned some Ruach songs from our staff. We then headed off to our host homes for the night. We’re really excited to spend the next few days here in Chicago for Shabbat!

August 3, 2014

Group 6 began their day journeying from the north to the Kaima Farm in Bet Zayit. They volunteered there for a few hours, plowing and preparing the fields for the upcoming farming season. They headed to the Fuchsberg Center, were they had  some free time, and ate a big, delicious meal before Tisha Be’av. This evening they will be davening at Yemin Moshe and enjoying a spiritual Tisha Be’av in Jerusalem.

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