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USY on Wheels, East


Begin your USY summer experience here! From the CN Tower in Toronto to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and all points in between, see the best of what the East Coast has to offer on this summertime adventure for 7th and 8th graders!

Highlights Include

Kennedy Space Center. Universal Islands of Adventure. The World of Coca Cola. Hockey Hall of Fame. Quincy Market. Niagara Falls. CN Tower. Spy Museum


What is USY on Wheels?

Since 1960, USY (United Synagogue Youth) has taken hundreds of teens across North America aboard USY on Wheels. On this cross-continent tour, Jewish teens explore the United States and Canada, discovering new sights and making lasting friendships through their travels. An intense identity-building experience, USY on Wheels allows teens to travel and live with their peers, providing abundant opportunities for developing independence and personal growth.

The trip also builds Jewish identity, immersing teens in meaningful experiences and discussions that strengthen their understanding of and commitment to Judaism. Participants celebrate Shabbat, find new and fun ways to pray (through yoga, crafts, and more!) keep kosher, and build their own Jewish communities on the road, teaching them that they can find a sense of “kehilla” (community) no matter where life’s travels take them.

What are the age requirements for this program?

USY on Wheels programs are open to teens currently in grades 7-12. Current seventh and eighth grades students are ONLY eligible for Wheels East and West.

What is the typical group size?

“Classic”, East, and West groups typically range from 40-48 teens per bus with each bus grouped by participant age. There are typically 24-36 teens on Pacific Northwest trips.

How is the program staffed?

Wheels buses are supervised by five staff members who have made working with Jewish youth a priority in their lives. Each bus is in daily contact with the central USY office and program director, who is on call 24 hours a day.

How do teens travel on Wheels?

Teens travel on a fully equipped motor coach, driven by a professional who remains with each bus for the duration of the trip.

What is the food like?

Three full meals and numerous snacks are provided each day. All the food is kosher and supplied by kosher caterers throughout North America.

Where do teens stay while traveling?

Teens stay in major hotels fully equipped with swimming pools and recreational facilities. The number of teens per room varies from three to four depending on the facility.

Teens also have the opportunity to participate in a Home Hospitality program. For approximately ten nights over the course of the trip, teens stay at local USCJ congregants’ homes in a number of communities throughout North America. Teens also spend time with local USYers in each community, participating in activities and seeing what Jewish life is like from Buffalo to Baltimore, Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

Is there a community service component to your trips and what does it include?

Social action and community service projects are an important component of USY on Wheels. During the course of the summer, teens will participate in at least three hours of volunteer work. Past projects included:

  • Volunteering at The Ark, a soup kitchen and food distribution center in Chicago
  • Donating toiletries to the homeless through the Lava Mae organization in San Francisco
  • Singing songs at a the Jewish Home for the Elderly in New Orleans

What does the cost of this program include?

The cost includes travel, room and board, gratuities, and admission fees.

Are there scholarships available?

Scholarships are available through USY regions, local congregations and their affiliated groups. For further information contact your synagogue, regional USY directory, or visit our scholarship database and Ways to Save page.

Who do I contact with additional questions?

If you have any questions about this or other USY summer programs, e-mail us at [email protected].

  • June 26-July 23, 2018
  • $ 5,799
    • Wheels East registration is closed for 2018
    • 28 DAYS
    • Grades 7-8*
    • *Current grade as of 2017-2018 school year


Sample Itinerary

**Based on 2016 itinerary. All schedules and activities are subject to change.

Day 1Somerset. NJGet to know each other & prepare to hit the road in the morning
Day 2Boston, MATake a Duck Tour and see Boston by land and water;
Explore and shop your way through Quincy Market
Day 3Boston, MATake a private tour of Fenway Park
Day 4Syracuse, NYEmbark on the long drive to Syracuse; Prepare for Shabbat
Day 5Syracuse, NYCelebrate Shabbat
Day 6Toronto, ONCross the border into Canada; Visit the Ontario Science Museum
Day 7Toronto, ONVisit the Hockey Hall of Fame; Shop in the Eaton Center Mall; Travel to the top of the CN Tower
Day 8Niagara Falls, NY & Cleveland, OHRide the Maid of the Mist into Niagara Falls; Travel to Cleveland and catch a nighttime MLB baseball game
Day 9Louisville, KYTour of the Velvet Ice Cream Factory; Visit the Louisville Slugger Factory
Day 10Chattanooga, TNTake a trolley ride in to Mega Cavern; Start your engines at the Corvette Museum; Get competitive in a bubble soccer competition
Day 11Atlanta, GAHike Ruby Falls; Play the one-of-a-kind sport Whirleyball; Prepare for Shabbat
Day 12Atlanta, GACelebrate Shabbat
Day 13Atlanta, GAView the city from the top of the Ferris Wheel; Taste all the flavors at the Coca Cola Factory
Day 14Orlando, FLVisit the Natural History Museum on the University of Florida campus
Day 15Orlando, FLSpend the day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Day 16Orlando, FLEnjoy another action packed and fun filled day at Universal Studios
Day 17Jacksonville, FLVolunteer at The Mustard Seed Furniture and Clothing Bank; Play interactive and arcade games at Disney Springs; Escape the Room in a puzzle-solving game
Day 18Jacksonville, FL & Savannah, GARelax on the beach; Prepare for Shabbat
Day 19Savannah, GACelebrate Shabbat Take a nighttime tour of haunted Savannah
Day 20Savannah, GAShop and explore the River Walk and docks
Day 21Charleston, SCTake a trolley ride through a tea plantation and factory; Daven mincha on the beach
Day 22Wilmington, NCRelax on Myrtle Beach; Visit the Wax Museum; Shop on the boardwalk
Day 23Richmond, VALace-up your skates at the ice rink; Take a hay ride & sample the goods at a local produce farm; Rev your engines for some go-karting
Day 24Washington, DCVisit a water park; Tour the National Air and Space Museum
Day 25Washington, DCVisit to Newseum; Say cheese for a photo-op at the White House; Prepare for Shabbat
Day 26Washington, DCCelebrate Shabbat Take a nighttime walking tour of the National Monuments
Day 27Philadelphia, PATour of The Comic Museum; Play laser tag; Participate in end of trip banquet
Day 28Somerset, NJReturn home
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