What an exciting week it had been so far! This week we welcomed 14 of our campers and today we welcome another 8! By the end of the day we will be complete minus our 5th staff member, Adam, who arrives tomorrow. Though definitely a transition period for the Louisville group, this week has also been a lot of fun. On Thursday and Friday we worked at Youthbuild, a non-profit funded by Americorp and the Department of Labor that helps young adults each year get their GEDs and a vocational certification in urban farming or construction. This summer with Youthbuild we will be doing urban farming, house construction,tutoring and perhaps some other projects as well. Youthbuild just moved in to a brand new building that was built solely by Youthbuild participants and AJSS will also be helping Youthbuild paint the building and get settled in their new space.
We welcomed Shabbat in 106 degree weather with beautiful services at The Temple, our home for the next 3 weeks. The Temple was the first synagogue in the country to have a husband and wife Rabbi Team, Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi Rooks. The Rabbis have been so hospitable and even joined us for Shabbat dinner on Friday night. On Shabbat we had a relaxing morning and enjoyed bagels and cream cheese followed by the choice to go to Tefillah at The Temple or do a meditation outside in the shade. The afternoon brought board games, basketball, and a staff-initiated water balloon fight along with a very engaging conversation with Rabbi Rapport about the Jewish history of Louisville, which everyone loved.
Today it is a bit milder outside, only 101 degrees, and the group is spending the day at the historic waterfront of Louisville, which runs along the Ohio River and is the separation between Kentucky and Indiana. There, the campers will be divided into groups of 4-5, given a staff-designed photo scavenger hunt, their cameras and 1 hour to find all sorts of crazy things (including a disco ball as 90% of disco balls in the United States are produced in Louisville each yea,r and pictures of the group with statues of Mohammed Ali and Louis Brandeis, both native Louisvillians).
We’re very much looking forward to tonight when we will be a cohesive group. And this week will bring more fun and hard work as we spend Monday evening routing for the Louisville AAA baseball team, the Bats, doing group laundry for the first time and working at EDGE, a global non-profit which is creating solutions to decrease morbidity and mortality caused by dirty water worldwide.
We’ll keep you posted! And until then just send us cool thoughts as we brave this hot hot hot weather! :)
Anna and the rest of the AJSS staff