Trek West #3: Community Service in Los Angeles

After a long bus ride, we finally made it to Los Angeles on Wednesday. We enjoyed a quick lunch in Beverly Hills before making our way to the Museum of Tolerance, a museum that focused on prejudice and social movements that have taken place in the last century in the United States. In the museum, we focused our attention primarily on a Holocaust exhibit.

 

Though we spent over an hour there, there was still so much to see! We then made our way to American Jewish University in the beautiful Bel Air area, where we stay for four nights in total. After dinner, we went to Venice Beach to watch the sunset, play some beach sports and explore the quirky shops and unique vibes of the boardwalk area.

Yesterday, we had a full day of community service. In the morning, we volunteered at Trash 4 Teaching, a non-profit dedicated to recycling craft materials to be sold at discounted prices to local schools. The teens worked together helping organize materials and create tool kits. We took a quick lunch break at the South Galeria mall and continued onto the Garden of Palms Nursing Home for our afternoon volunteering.

 

At the nursing home, we played bingo with the residents and spent time chatting with them. It seemed that our time spent there was deeply appreciated and the kids got a kick out of the colorful personalities of the residents. Following that experience, we had a bit of time to walk around the Jewish neighborhood of Pico Robertson. We had kosher Chinese food for dinner and ended our evening with a comedy show at the El Portal Theatre. Some of your kids were invited to participate in the improv show!

There is a bit of a cold going around the group. We have been diligent about encouraging everyone to drink plenty of water and to make sure to get enough sleep at night. We welcome any support that you can give in terms of encouraging your children to take care of their bodies to they can feel healthy for the remainder of the trip.

As our second week comes to an end, we feel grateful to have gotten to know your kids in a diverse set of contexts. We look forward to a relaxing Shabbat in the California sunshine and wish you all a peaceful weekend.

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