July 29, 2014

Group 5′s first stop this morning was Bio Bee in Sde Eliyahu where they participated in an ecological program. They toured the Kibbutz and learned about its organic agriculture. They continued to the Sachne Springs and took a dip in the refreshing water. Afterwards, they traveled to Jerusalem and arrived at the Fuchsberg Center for a talk with Dave Levy, the Director of Teen Learning. After some free time, they regrouped and were joined by Group 8, for a wonderful evening play called the “Four Faces of Israel.”

July 28, 2014

We started out our day with a fantastic mitzvah project! We visited the Home of the Innocents in Louisville, KY. This is a home for children with mental and physical delays and difficulties. We had the opportunity to tour their beautiful facilities and then play with the children who are living there. We did our last day of mitzvah clowning, played parachute, and had lots of fun laughing and giggling with the kids. After our project, we drove to Chicago- our last drive of the summer! We’ve made it full circle. In the evening we played a Wheels favorite- Whirlyball. You’ll have to check out the pictures to really get a sense of what it is, but for a quick summary, it’s a combination of bumper cars, lacrosse, and basketball. We can’t believe that tomorrow is our last day together!

July 28, 2014

Today we made our way from Oklahoma to Kansas City! Our first stop was the Brown vs. Board of Education museum. There, we were able to look around and learn about the first steps in integrating our school system. It got us thinking about equality and treating everyone fairly. It also got us thinking about going back to school ourselves in a few weeks… Luckily, after the museum we got back on the bus and escaped into our “Wheels zone.” It’s definitely too soon to think about going back to school! In the afternoon we toured Arrowhead Stadium- the home of the Kansas City Chiefs. We ended the day with popsicles and an early curfew so that we can build up some energy for the rest of the fun week ahead!

July 27, 2014

Today we embarked on a long drive to Denver, Colorado. On the bus, we watched The Laramie Project, an inspiring movie about gay rights. We were able to catch up on some sleep and became closer by bonding on the bus. We went to the Celestial Seasonings tour where we got to see how the tea is made. We were able to sample all teas such as Sugar Cookie Tea, our personal favorite. Afterwards we got back on the bus, just to go on another bus tour! On Billy’s Banjo Bus Tour, we enjoyed delicious Kosher pizza while our awesome tour guide told us ghost stories about the town and about the history. To end a great day we davened Maariv at the hotel and even had some chofesh (free time) before curfew. We are so excited for another long bus ride tomorrow to Nebraska!
-Sam Tanchel and Kelly Naar

July 27, 2014

Today we made our way to our last new city of the summer- Louisville, Kentucky. In honor of rosh chodesh- the celebration of the Jewish new month, we had services separated by gender. We took some time to think about the prayers and share how the attributes mentioned in each prayer reminds us of a friend on the bus. After completing Shacharit, we loaded the bus to head to Louisville. No visit to Louisville would be complete without a trip to the Louisville Slugger Factory! It was a really fun visit. We finished off the evening with our bus Talent Show. Looking forward to our last few days!

July 26, 2014

After a later wake up, we were ready to spend our final Shabbat together. During Shacharit we learned about the weekly parsha and answered some trivia questions about the reading. We did kiddush together and then had a discussion about Shabbat- how we feel about it, what it was like to observe Shabbat as a community, and how we will observe Shabbat at home next week. In the afternoon we had free time to nap, swim, run, play games, and just hang out together. In the evening we talked about how to bring all of the amazing experiences we’ve had this summer home with us and not forget each other and everything we’ve accomplished. We wrapped up the night with popsicles. 

July 25, 2014

It’s hard to believe that today was the beginning of our last Shabbat! We have had such an incredible time together changing the world and making it a better place, heading into Shabbat today was certainly bittersweet. Today we had the privilege of volunteering at the Memphis Jewish Home, a Jewish nursing home in the city. We went from room to room as Mitzvah clowns to brighten up each of the resident’s day. At lunch time, we helped serve lunch and then had the privilege of eating salmon, baked potatoes, and veggie burgers with the residents. After volunteering we went to spend some time on Beale Street before heading out to do our Shabbat shopping. It was a beautiful final Shabbat evening together before we went to bed.

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