CJA in the Big Apple: Grade 9 Students visit NYC

The Grade 9 class of Calgary Jewish Academy recently embarked on an unforgettable eight-day trip to New York City.

by Joseph Tappenden

(Calgary) – The Grade 9 class of Calgary Jewish Academy recently embarked on an unforgettable eight-day trip to New York City. Anticipation was high as the students departed, eager to explore the historical and cultural richness of the Big Apple. After a long flight to John F. Kennedy Airport, they settled into their hotel, ready for the adventures that awaited.

One of the trip’s most impactful experiences was visiting the Tenement Museum. Here, students delved into the history of immigration in North America, gaining insights into the lives of early 20th-century migrants. The museum’s immersive exhibits, showcased the hardships faced by immigrants, including the lack of basic amenities like electricity and plumbing. This left a profound impression on the students, fostering a deeper appreciation for their own comforts and privileges.

A highlight of the trip was the interaction with students from Schechter Manhattan, a Jewish day school. The Calgary students met their Manhattan peers in Central Park, where initial nerves quickly gave way to camaraderie. The gathering culminated in a beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat at Schechter Manhattan, where both groups shared traditions and learned about each other’s customs, forging connections that transcended geographical boundaries.

The visit to Park Avenue Synagogue was another memorable event. The grandeur of the synagogue and the engaging service led by a charismatic cantor provided a unique Shabbat experience. The students were captivated by the beauty of the service and the sense of community, making it a Shabbat they would cherish forever.

Throughout the trip, the students also enjoyed quintessential New York experiences such as navigating the subway, exploring iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, a walking tour of Jewish Brooklyn, and indulging in retail therapy. A thrilling evening at Yankee Stadium, complete with multiple home runs, added to the excitement. Despite the busy itinerary, there was always time for reflection, fun, and forging lasting memories.

This New York City adventure was more than just a sightseeing trip; it was an educational and emotional journey. From learning about the struggles of past immigrants to building new friendships and experiencing a vibrant Jewish community, the trip left an indelible mark on the students. Their experiences in New York City will undoubtedly continue to inspire them in their future endeavours.

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