gap year in israel

Check out our social media to see what our students have been up to this past week!

Day 1

Dear Parents,

We landed this morning and headed to our hotel in Manhattan. After checking in and settling, we went for a very American lunch at Shake Shack.

Our first site for the day was The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met, as it is better known, is the largest art museum in the United States. The museum regularly hosts notable special exhibitions; they will often focus on the works of a single artist and features exhibits that have been loaned out from a variety of other museums and sources for the duration of the exhibition. Such exhibitions include displays specially designed for the Costume Institute, paintings from artists from across the world, works of art related to specific art movements, and collections of historical artifacts.

From there, we walked around Central Park. We recognized many sites from some of the 305 (wow!) films shot there.

Next, we walked along the famous 5th Avenue where we saw the Plaza Hotel, Tiffany’s and Trump Tower. After a short rest and a shower in our stunning hotel, we went out for dinner at a Tacombi (that has the best Mexican food in the city) and then, exhausted from our travels and our busy day of sightseeing, we went back to our hotel and finished our day 🙂



Day 2

Dear Parents,

Day two in the Big Apple started with lots of energy! We ate breakfast and caught a ferry to the see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Island was the U.S. gateway for immigrants for over 60 years, from 1892 until 1954.

Once back on land, we went to the High Line (also known as High Line Park) which is a 1.45-mile-long (2.33 km) elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail. It was created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan in New York City. The abandoned spur has been redesigned as a “living system” drawing from multiple disciplines, which include landscape architecture, urban design, and ecology. Since opening in 2009, the High Line has become an icon of contemporary landscape architecture. We enjoyed walking above the city, also known as the concrete jungle, and seeing the urban garden around us.

We ate lunch and walked to the Charging Bull Statue right outside Wall Street and the NY Stock Exchange. Arturo Di Modica created the charging bull without the involvement of the city, funding the $360,000 project himself in the aftermath of the 1987 market crash. In December of 1989, he brought the charging bull to the city and installed it under the Christmas tree in front of the New York Stock Exchange, as a gift to New York. NYPD briefly impounded the sculpture, but after the public protested, the NYC Parks Department officially installed it in Bowling Green Park a week later.

In the early evening, we went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It is a memorial and museum in New York City commemorating the September 11, 2011 attacks, which killed 2,977 people, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six. The memorial is located at the World Trade Center site.

After a delicious and hearty dinner, we went to our first ever Broadway Show!! We saw The Phantom of the Opera. The costumes, the music, and everything about it was just breathtaking.

We had an amazing and productive day. We are excited and looking forward to our 3rd day together.


Day 3

Dear Parents,

We began our third day with breakfast, and then we were off to Chinatown! New York’s Chinatown is conveniently located right next to Little Italy on Manhattan Island and it is one of the oldest and largest Chinatown’s outside of Asia. It is one of the largest surviving Chinese communities that still exists with as many Chinese residents as any other ethnicity. We continued on to Little Italy, where we smelled the most amazing pizzas and experienced a different atmosphere. Next, we went to SoHo neighborhood where we saw designer boutiques and high-end art galleries. Our last stop before lunch was the Lower East Side where we learned about the neighborhood’s Jewish heritage.

During the day, we met some friends from Aardvark. We only said goodbye three weeks ago, but it was really nice to hang out with them in their home country.

In the afternoon, we all headed out on our separate ways for Shabbat – to see family, friends, or other Aardvarkians for the weekend – and a chance to rest a bit before meeting up on Monday when we all depart for the summer of a lifetime at camp!

Have a great week,