Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Day 4 and the Adventures Continue

This morning students started their day by a visit to Temple Emmanuel. From our tour guide, Hadassah, we learned that Temple Emanu-El of was the first Reform Jewish congregation in New York City, and because of its size and prominence, has served as a flagship congregation in the Reform branch of Judaism since its founding in 1845. Its landmark Romanesque Revival building on Fifth Avenue is widely admired as the largest, and one of the most beautiful synagogues in the world. On this trip, students were fortunate to learn about the impact of all 3 denominations of Judaism. 

Following Temple Emmanu-El, we headed for lunch and a visit at Grand Central Station. The students learned about commuting to and from New York and navigating a very busy space. 

We then headed to The Metropolitan Museum of Art where we spent the afternoon learning about amazing exhibits covering many periods of history.  Students saw original pieces of art by Picasso, Renoir, Monnet, Van Gogh and many others. 

The highlight of our day was the Rangers vs Flyers game at Madison Square Garden.  The kids truly enjoyed the experience. 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day 3 and the Trip Keeps Getting Better

This morning, 6th and 7th graders started with a bus tour of the upper side of Manhattan.  We learned about the re-gentrification of Harlem, the establishment of Lincoln Center, the Ivy League College, Colombia University, and about many impressive and important landmarks.  As we drove uptown, our tour guide also pointed out the former home of John Lennon (where his wife Yoko Ono still resides), directly across from Central Park.  We learned that after John Lennon was killed, Yoko Ono donated funds in his name and memory to upgrade a portion of the park which is now named Strawberry Fields.  After stopping at the "imagine" mosaic, also dedicated to John Lennon, we took a quick stroll through the park and strawberry fields before heading to Grant's Tomb. Grant's Tomb is the informal name for the General Grant National Memorial, the final resting place of Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), the 18th President of the US,  and his wife, Julia Grant (1826–1902). Completed in 1897, the tomb is located in Riverside Park in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan

Following Grant's Tomb, the group headed the the Jewish Theological Seminary. The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS or JTSA) is one of the academic and spiritual centers of Conservative Judaism, and a major center for academic scholarship in Jewish studies.

Following JTS, we headed to The American Museum of Natural History, which is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world. Located in park-like grounds across the street from Central Park, the museum complex contains 27 interconnected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library.  The museum is known for being the setting of the movie, Night at the Museum, and many students were interested in seeing those exhibits showcased in the movie. The afternoon drew to an end with time spent in the museum's planetarium. 

The highlight of our day however was Pre-Theatre dinner at Abigael's followed by the Broadway Show, Cinderalla, starring Fran Dresher. 

The students had a jam packed day! They learned quite a bit about New York and Judaism while enjoying some very unique Manhattan experiences! 

Strawberry Fields and Imagine

Grant's Tomb

Woman's League Sanctuary at JTS

Natural History Museum

Monday, March 24, 2014

Day 2 - What A Day!

The 6th and 7th graders had the most amazing New York City experience today. The students woke up bright and early and after meeting for breakfast in the hotel lobby, were on their way to lower Manhattan through Battery Park  - where the high was 21 degrees! Students saw some of the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy as we drove along the Hudson River.  Once we arrived to Battery Park, we boarded a ferry to Liberty Island where we had up close views of The Statue of Liberty. From there we traveled to Ellis Island.  At Ellis Island there was great learning about what it meant for immigrants to travel across the Atlantic and through the process of joining a new culture and society. We all learned about the sacrifices and suffering endured so that these generations could offer their children a chance to a better life. One of our students even found a picture of his grandfather in the Ellis Island Museum!

From the Statue of Liberty, and Battery Park, the entire group walked through the Wall Street District and enjoyed lunch before heading to the 9/11 Memorial. Walking toward the 9/11 Memorial was a solemn experience for the entire group.  The children learned of the Freedom Tower, the tallest building in North America standing at 1776 feet tall.  They also saw several construction sites around the World Trade Center site and learned about the future Museum plans at the site. The most memorable part of the Memorial was at the location of where the twin towers once stood  - the footprints are now amazing man-made water falls - the largest of their kind.

Followed by the 9/11 Memorial we headed to the Eldridge Street Synagogue in the heart of China Town. Once there, the museum docent spoke of the transformations in the neighborhood - from having been a heavily Jewish immigrant population to one which today is basically Chinese. We encourage you to learn more about the amazing community at the Eldridge Street Synagogue and its recent restoration project by visiting 

The day was then wrapped up by an amazing dinner at Mr. Broadway,  followed by time in Times Square. 

Wow what a day!  We all look forward to tomorrow for more!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New York City

6th and 7th graders were great travelers today.  Navigating LAX, then managing a long yet smooth flight, everyone was excited upon arrival in Newark.  Once boarded on the bus and joined by the tour guide, students had an opportunity to view Manhattan city-scapes
from across the Hudson River.  Once in Manhattan and checked into the hotel, everyone enjoyed a warm meal at Ben's Deli before heading to Rockefeller Center.  Once at Rockefeller Center, students
visited the Top of The Rock with clear views of Manhattan on a cold and crisp night.  Everyone is now tucked away in bed anxiously awaiting a wonderful day tomorrow.