Summer 2012

June 26, 2012

Mission Mitzvah had an action packed day, which they began in Philadelphia, touring at the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where they were given some free time to explore and learn about our nation’s rich history. Following this, Mission Mitzvah headed to the Board Game Art Park, playing with life-sized board game pieces and having a great time mingling with new friends. Their final activity was visiting the American Helicopter Factory. The kids were amazed at the fascinating models they had arranged there. Finally, the group headed back to their home hospitality synagogue in Philadelphia, where they ate dinner and participated in a Mitzvah project, sorting clothes and toys for needy children. It was a tiring but incredibly fulfilling day and Mission Mitzvah cannot wait to start again tomorrow for a full day!

June 26, 2012

Bus C began their summer with an overview of how Tefillot(services) will be run and a conversation about how everyone, while coming from different backgrounds, will have a chance to grow themselves individually and try new things. Following this conversation, Bus C traveled to the Intercourse Pretzel Factory where they saw how these tasty treats were made and had a chance to try some of them. After this stop, a trip to the Indian Echo Caverns, Bus C traversed the narrow passageways getting some great pictures! On the way to their host town, they stopped next at Hershey’s Chocolate World, sampling some delicious desserts and viewing the history of the famed company. Bus C ended their day in Pittsburgh with a BBQ and a program on goals and fears for the summer. They cannot wait to get moving on their adventures tomorrow!

June 26, 2012

Bus A started off their summer together with a rousing Shaharit to get the day going! They began their drive with a stop at the Pez Factory in Orange, Connecticut, where they saw how the little candies are made and had a chance to try some tasty treats. Following this, they headed to Newport, Rhode Island visiting the Touro synagogue, the oldest Shul in America. They took pictures and had a discussion about what it means to be a Jew in America. After a long day of adventures, the group headed to the synagogue where their home hospitality was taking place, Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusets, and they had a delectable dinner! Post dinner, the group traveled into Boston proper to see a show of Shear Madness, a hilarious Improv troupe. The group had some serious laughs and is getting a good night’s rest to continue their journey tomorrow!

June 26, 2012

Bus B started off their summer together with a jam-packed day filled with wonderful activities. They began their drive with a stop at the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, where they participated in a scavenger hunt in order to break the ice among the group members. Following this, they toured the American Visionary Arts Museum, seeing the amazing works of self-taught artists displayed in unique ways. After a long day of adventures, the group headed to the synagogue where their home hospitality was taking place and had a scrumptious dinner! Post dinner, the group participated in their first program of the summer, discussing their goals and fears for the exhilarating summer ahead. They ended the day with a fun speed dating program to get to know each other and had a birthday celebration for one of the members of the bus. Bus B is so excited to continue on in this amazing journey tomorrow!

June 25, 2012

Today group 4 drove from Lodz to Treblinka, toured Treblinka, the extermination camp, and they visited the new museum there as well. While at the camp, they held a memorial service. Then they went on a very short walking tour of Warsaw followed by mincha at the Nozyk synagogue, which is the only surviving pre-war Jewish house of prayer in Warsaw. The group had their final subgroups of Poland followed by dinner and departure to the airport! Israel, here they come!

June 24, 2012

Shabbat was spent davening at the Isaac shul, with amazing spirit and loud voices. Group 4 had Shabbat dinner, lunch and Seudah Shlishit at the Olive Oil restaurant. They also had a Shiur(learning session) with Jules Gutin(their tour guide) and studied Pirkei Avot(Collection of Rabbinic sayings and axioms). Before an outdoor Havdalah and Maariv, they participated in a “get to know your staff” program! On Sunday, after an early start to the morning, they had a 5 hour drive to Lodz. They visited the Umschlagplatz of Lodz, the place of deportation, and learned the story of everyone from the town as well as visited the Lodz Jewish cemetery, which is the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe. Next, they davened at the Wolfe Reichert shul followed by dinner and subgroups. Tonight the group will do a “get pumped for Israel” program because tomorrow evening they are heading to Israel!

June 22, 2012

The group began the day  with Shaharit at the Oschwentzen (The community in which Auschwitz exists) shul. They then  visited Auschwitz concentration camp, where they began their tour by walking under the infamous sign, “Arbeit Macht Frei,” “Work Will Make You Free.”  They went into several buildings and learned about what went on in the everyday lives of the camp’s victims. Then they went to Birkenau death camp, where they had the opportunity to walk through the famous guard tower. They continued through the barracks, stood at the very place where Dr. Mengele chose who should live and who should 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 memorial ceremony.

Group 4 drove back to Krakow where they will spend their first Shabbat together. They will daven at the Isaac Shul as well as eat several of their meals at the Olive Oil restaurant. During Shabbat they will participate in a limud before completing the remainder of Shabbat with Seudah Shlishit and Havadalah. The group is excited to spend their first Shabbat together, singing, learning, and relaxing. Shabbat Shalom!

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