Posted by: ajsssummer | July 28, 2011

A week of updates all rolled up into one blog post

Helloooo family and friends (and Carlos’ Kittens)! Sorry for the delayed blog post- we’ve all just been having so much fun that we couldn’t take a break to write! Last Wednesday, the Springfield group began our deconstruction, or demolition as we liked to nickname it, at Kumler Ministries. We hammered, removed plaster, and watched the walls around us come crumbling down. That night was a free night, with most girls electing to go on a Target shopping spree, giving each other makeovers galore. The next day, half the group went back to Kumler and half spent the day at UCP. The kids at Kumler spent the day finishing demolition and cleaning up the mess, and the kids at UCP went to see Monsters Versus Aliens with the campers and then helped decorate cookies in the afternoon. Both halves felt complete (punny ) because the kids at Kumler knew their demolition was really needed to help expand the Ministry’s basement shelter, and we at UCP (myself included) felt amazing, as always, knowing we were able to contribute to the smiling faces at the camp. The day’s night activity was a long overdue boys’ and girls’ night, with each gender bonding with each other respectively. On Friday, we left for a long awaited, highly anticipated weekend trip to Chicago. On our way to Lakeview, the community hosting us for the weekend, we stopped in Deerfield for our first experience with Mitzvah clowning, also known as therapeutic clowning. We did this at a Jewish assisted living facility, and it was truly a transformative experience to hear about the amazing lives of the people we were entertaining. Then we were off to the Windy City! We arrived in Lakeview and were hosted by a lovely couple who gave us their apartment for the weekend. We went to Anshe Emet synagogue for a barbeque and services later that evening. It was really cool to mingle with the community and meet them. We spent Shabbat hanging out in the apartment and relaxing, and went for a walk along Lake Michigan. Then we went for evening services at a Modern Orthodox Synagogue, Anshe Shalom, and ate Seudat Shlishit with the congregation. It was great to experience a different style of service and be welcomed into the local Jewish community. Once Shabbat was over, we went out to play Whirly ball, which is essentially a mix of bumper cars, basketball, and lacrosse. The next morning, we ventured out of Lakeview and into the “real” city of Chicago. We went to Navy Pier first, and then made our way Millenium Park. Playing with the giant mirrored bean was tons of fun, and so were the water sprinklers. Next, debatably the best part of the trek to Chicago, we went to get deep dish pizza!! AWESOME! Then, we went home. But yay back to Springfield! We had a late dinner of tacos and burritos. The next day, Monday morning, we volunteered at Sojourn Shelter domestic violence shelter, cleaning, maintaining grounds, and helping with some outreach. Two of us, Will and me, even mitzvah clowned again, what fun! Then after some free time at the Y, we went to Kumler Ministries Vacation Bible School for dinner and taught the children about Passover by acting out the story and making seder plates with them. Then, maintaining our Monday night tradition, we went to laundry and the healthiest thing on earth, the one and only Steak and Shake. We went to bed relatively early, in preparation for our day in St. Louis. We woke up early and made the two hour drive to St. Louis. Arriving at The Arch, we went up in the trolleys with so many nerves, but the view from up top made everything worth it though, and we truly learned why the Arch is called the Gateway to the West. Then, we went to work at a place called The Shoeman (search him at The organization had a similar method to Edge, the water purification organization in Louisville. Both collect used shoes and sell them to a resaler and distributor in order to raise money to bring clean water to the developing world, specifically Kenya and Haiti. After volunteering with the Shoeman, we made our way to Washington University in St. Louis, and got a tour from Shosh, with the help of text message tour points from a friend of hers who went there. Then for our last event of the day, we took a stroll on the Loop, a great area in the town, and even got our phones back. Finally, today we went to visit the Governor’s Mansion and the Capitol, and got a private tour of both. Then we split up into two groups and half went to UCP, half went to the Boys and Girls club. Tonight, we had an Interfaith Panel consisting of Rabbi Marks, the Rabbi of the Conservative temple hosting us, the Reform Rabbi of Springfield, a Muslim woman, a Unitarian-Universalist minister, a Priest, and a nun. Interesting questions were asked, and satisfying enlightening answers were received. We finished off the night with cupcakes, and are now packing for our trip to MEMPHIS!! We cannot wait to spend the weekend in the amazing city with the Louisville group and Rafi! Until next time… LOVE YOU ALL, Jordana


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