Tuesday, June 28th
The group woke up happy in Jerusalem for another day of touring. They learned about the First Temple period, and then took a walk through the Jaffa Gate and Old City. They visited the City of David and went through Hezekayah’s Tunnel, a water aqueduct that brought water to the city during the time of King Hezekayah (700 BCE). The USYers had a wonderful time splashing in the water. After lunch the group walked back through the new and most beautiful Mamila mall to the Fuchsberg center. In the afternoon they went to the Independence park to play Frisbee. The group had some time to rest before dinner and later on they met in their subgroups. After dinner the group had a bonding program.
Monday, June 27th
This morning, Bus D returned to their host synagogue in Chicago. During shacharit the group learned about the choreography of the Amida, one of Judaism’s central prayers. The group then boarded the bus and made a visit to Jelly Belly Jellybean factory. There they learned about how the delicious jellybeans are made and got to try many of the various flavors. Before leaving, the group made a stop in the gift shop to load up on some jellybeans for their many rides ahead. Then it was off to the circus with a visit to Circus World. At Circus World, the group rode elephants, tried on circus costumes and saw circus show. Later on, the group arrived at their destination, a camp in the Wisconsin Dells. At the camp they had dinner, made a campfire, had a sing along and made smores!
Monday, June 27th
After an overnight flight, Group 6 landed safely in Warsaw this morning. Though tired, they are excited for the meaningful and interesting week ahead. After retrieving their luggage and meeting their Israeli staff, Raaya and Eyal, and their tour guide Mark, they loaded the bus had an opening ceremony at the Rappaport monument. They headed for the Genscher Cemetery. They prayed mincha at the Nozyk synagogue and visited the area that used to be the Jewish ghetto and saw the last remaining wall of the ghetto. They then headed to the Novotel hotel. Tonight the group ate dinner at a restaurant and met in subgroups. These small groups will meet each night in Poland and Israel in an effort to debrief about all they saw during the day and so that everyone has the opportunity to talk about their experiences in more intimate groups. Though tired, the group is excited to be getting to know each other and they are excited for the summer ahead.
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!