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Sudbury to Brooklyn Trip Photos, Report & Comments

Tuesday, 20 March, 2012 - 10:58 am

IMG_6293.JPGThis past Sunday March 18th some 30 people comprising of individuals and families travelled down to New York for an unforgettable trip to Crown Heights and the Chabad Community in New York.  

Over the course of the day the group toured the amazing Jewish Children's Museum which brings to life Jewish Culture, History and Traditions with modern technology and creativity, a walking tour of an authentic Shemurah Matzah Bakery, a visit to a scribe workshop where they saw how the Torah, Teffilin and Mezuzot are handmade, a visit to an interesting Jewish art gallery where the Artist who is world renowned gave a presentation, a visit and very touching moment at the resting place of Rabbi Schnersohn who was the IMG_6235.JPGdynamic leader of the Chabad movement, a tour of the Chabad World Headquarters and Central Synagogue, a glimpse at some amazing Judaica Shopping experiences, great Jewish cuisine from local Restaurants, and a taste some of the warmth of the Crown Heights Community and some local residents.

 

The trip began at 7:30am in the morning as everyone boarded a luxury executive coach down for a 3 1/2 hour down to New York. Along the way, participants introduced themselves and shared what they hoped to get out of the trip, watched a video or two, heard an introduction to Chabad and the work and approach of the Rebbe from Rabbi Freeman, and enjoyed an easy relaxing ride down to New York.

The 1st destination where the group headed was to the Ohel (Resting Place) of 2012-03-18_11-52-52_968.jpgRabbi Schneersohn. Upon arrival the group was welcomed by Sara Plotke and her friend Tziporah Elberg of Crown Heights who had prepared a beautiful brunch. While the group was enjoying the food and being able to stretch, Rabbi Shua Rosenstein of Chabad of Yale University shared a few words with the group about the Ohel, the Rebbe and the Chabad Movement, he also shared some personal stories of Chabad of Yale. In between laughs and humor, Rabbi Rosenstien shared a beautiful message with the group. Afterwards the group wrote their special notes which are customary to leave at the Ohel and the group entered to say some prayers and pay their respects.

Next the group headed for a 30 minute drive from Queens to Crown Heights, 2012-03-18_13-53-44_408.jpgBrooklyn. the 1st destination in Crown Heights was the new and modern Jewish Children's Museum. The Museum which was a $30 Million Project has brought to life Jewish History, Culture, Traditions and Spirituality using modern technology, hands on activities and creative and brilliant means. Exhibits include Jewish Miniature Golf, a walk through the 6 Days of Creation as it happens around you, a walk into a life size Shabbat Table, at which you can crawl through a Challah, light Shabbat Candles that are taller than you, press the touch screens on the Gian Matzah Balls in the Chicken Soup and much more. The Museum also has a section on Jewish Holidays, Jewish Values, Arts and Crafts and 4th floor which is almost open which is called Jewish Geography. The group was guided through the JCM by Sara Plotke & Shaini Binyominson. Shaini also explained about a the Friendship Circle program she helps run at the Museum for 120 local special needs kids which pairs up local teenagers and children.

 

IMG_6269.JPGAfter the Museum the group headed to the Art Gallery of world renowned artist Michoel Muchnik. Michoel whose 32 foot Mural the group had just seen at the Museum showed the group around his gallery and explained the Jewish themes and ideas he incorporates into his art. His artwork includes paintings, 3D art and many beautiful and stunning pieces.

Next the group took a walk to the 2nd Century as they entered the Crown Heights Matzah Bakery which is a world in itself.  The group which entered 5 at a time, saw close up how the process is done, how the Matzos are made and prepared, and the rapid manner in which they are produced by hand.

The group then took a walk up KIngston to the Scribe Workshop Hasofer. Along IMG_6285.JPGthe way the group met some locals and saw some of the many smaller Synagogues that dot Crown Heights Landscape. The group also saw the Shabbat Siren which blares 18 and 3 minutes before the Shabbat to let the neighborhood know that Shabbat is coming. At the Scribe Workshop the group was treated to a presentation by one of the scribes who showed the group how Teffilin are made from beginning to end, he also showed the group a tiny pair of Tefillin from the Holocaust.

The group then had about 45 minutes of free time for their shopping at local Judaica Stores and other stores. During that time we again bumped into local residents and found some common Massachusetts connections.

At 4:30pm the group went for a tour of 770 which included a look at the outside IMG_6292.JPGand inside of the building and hearing about where and how the Rebbe would see people. The group then entered the main synagogue of 770 which is a massive room where hundreds of Yeshiva and Rabbinical Students were studying as small Prayer Groups occurred at the side. Many of the group donned Tefillin at this point as they enjoyed an inside look at another world.

At 5:00pm the bus took us a couple block over to the Aliya Center which works with Youths in Crown Heights where we had a Catered Dinner. Noteh Shemtov of the Aliya Institute helped prepare and welcome the group and also shared a few inspiring words with the group. Once again a couple of locals joined us including Menachem Freeman (Rabbi Freeman's brother) who helps run and man the Hatzalah volunteer Paramedics in Crown Heights and Levi Martinez a local talented Musician who has produced several albums of contemporary music.

 

Brooklyn-20120318-00569.jpgAt the dinner everyone shared a few words about their experiences of the day which was moving in itself.

The trip back was relaxing as everyone took in the activities of the day and what they had seen, we watched a couple of videos and besides the volume being too loud in the back :( it was a great trip. 

Many in the group expressed their hope that they come again on the next trip with more friends and family and that hopefully this will be a pre run for a community trip to Israel. 

Participants were extremely expressive as to how much the trip meant to them and what a touching and memorable experience the entire trip had been for them and their families.

To see many more pictures on Facebook Click Here or on our website over here

Below we are sharing some of the feedback we have received thus far. 

Hi Rabbi, Thanks for leading a wonderful trip yesterday.  It was memorable for me and Myrna.  For us to spend a day like this with wonderful people, good friends, and two of our grandchildren is truly a gift that money cannot buy.  Not only would I urge others to make this visit when you repeat it but I would strongly urge them to round up their family members which makes the shared experience so much more meaningful and significant for everyone involved.  The experience of being at 770 and having my oldest grandson wrap tefillan and make the blessings with me will stay with me until the final time that I close my eyes.   Thank you for your leadership,

Harvey Alford


My kippah is off to Rabbi Freeman for conducting an informative outing filled with fun, education and fantastic camaraderie. The Rabbi turned a logistical nightmare into a roaring success. Had I not been one of the fortunate members, I wouldn't believe it possible to accommodate even the conflicting physical parameters:

      Structure and conduct a 1 day tour from a driving distance of 4 hours
      To maximize guest comfort, do it in a vehicle that is prohibited from major roads in the target cities
      Arrange two buffets (luch & dinner), while accommodating diverse different dietary needs:
                   e.g. Kosher,  No soy,  Allergic to everything,  Finicky kids
      Keep the youngest children engaged and entertained while opening adults to rich experiences
      Fulfill the Chabad mission with a diverse and demanding group of no-nonsense guests
      Facilitate the potential for lasting friendships in just 1 day

The Sudbury Chabad mission back to its New York roots fulfilled all of these goals. It was a stunning success!

Philip Raymond


The children who were younger than me seemed really liked the Jewish Children's Museum and it's attached mini-golf. That was fun, but my favorite stop was the Shemourah Matzah factory. Our travel itinerary says: "transport yourself to a different world". I assumed that this was a reference to a huge mechanized factory with lots of conveyor belts, overhead machinery tubes for carrying ingredients and electric lift-trucks moving all over the place. Instead, we really did enter a different world. We walked through a non-de script door behind a trash dumpster and entered the 2nd century BCE.

It was amazing to see how so few people could make so many Matzos in just 18 minutes or less. The place was clean and efficient, but it also was surprisingly "primitive" -- or perhaps it just seemed that way, because everything was made by hand. Except for the printing on the cartons, I bet that the process hasn't changed much in 3500 years!

Janet Raymond (Age 11)


Dear Rabbi Freeman-

 Leon and I would like to thank you for putting together a wonderful trip to New York!   We really enjoyed ourselves and the day was delightful.  Everything was extremely well organized and every detail thought of.  We appreciate and recognize the work that you and many others put into the successful day.

-Ilene Kadis


Our recent trip to the Ohel and Crown Heights was a meaningful look into a culture with which I previously had only scant knowledge. The touching adherence to old-school halacha and continued and fervent reverence for The Rebbe was a reassuring reminder of the staying-power of the Jewish people in spite of a world of obstacles.

Thanks so much to Rabbi Freeman, his friends, associates and family for the love and preparation that went into the planning and execution of this special day.

Beryl Porter


Hello Rabbi Freeman, It was a wonderful experience visiting the Rebbe's grave and Crown Heights. I also loved going inside 770 and seeing so many Jews praying and studying (especially the one guy asleep over a book and a group of three saying l'chaim at the same time as studying (Ed. Note. They were observing a Yahrziet at which it is customary to say a small L'Chaim after the Prayers)). Outside, it was a special sight to see so many righteous Jews hurrying alone intently or an entire family out for a stroll. I got a sense of deja vu from when I visited Jerusalem. It was a great trip, with excellent people and I thank you for putting it together. Baruch Hashem and thank you again.Best,

Max Ariel Abugov
 

As someone who has been to Crown Heights somwhat in younger days, the March 18 trip was an eye-opener in terms of the pervasive influence of the Lubavitcher Rebbe of blessed memory in Brooklyn .Paying respects at the Ohel and dovening there in tallit and tefillin were an experience I will cherish always.I enjoyed sharing the entire experience with good friends . I especially appreciate the opportunity I had to mentor Jacob Alford with regard to praying and saying tehillim there. What a rich day and rewarding experience.-

Yehuda Becker

 



 

 

Comments on: Sudbury to Brooklyn Trip Photos, Report & Comments
3/20/2012

Philip Raymond wrote...

The quote lists Janet as 12 years old...Actually, she is only 10. She turns 11 next week.

Janet was excited to see so much productivity inside that tiny Matzah factory! She compared it to a beehive crowded with worker drones. Each individual seemed to know exactly what they should be doing at every stage of production. Amazing!
3/20/2012

Judi Rapaport wrote...

Thank you to Rabbi Freeman for bringing us into your special world. I was fascinated by all that I saw and experienced. It gave me a better understanding of the Chabad culture, one in which I admire and respect. I truly enjoyed every aspect of the trip and I hope to be able to do this again next year.
3/20/2012

Judi Rapaport wrote...

Thank you to Rabbi Freeman for bringing us into your special world. I was fascinated by all that I saw and experienced. It gave me a better understanding of the Chabad culture, one in which I admire and respect. I truly enjoyed every aspect of the trip and I hope to be able to do this again next year.
3/26/2012

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