After presenting their work at the first exhibition of the year, Idea School students went on trips that provided a fitting end to their units of study. Ninth graders had asked, “What are our origin stories?” in studying the history of planet Earth up until the Stone Age, and had researched their family histories in the process. Tenth graders had asked, “How do we connect with others?” in studying the Columbian exchange, Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” and the laws of kashrut that regulate our connections with others.
One group of students went to see “Fiddler on the Roof” in Yiddish off-Broadway, a show that poses the same driving questions the students grappled with in their exhibitions. They were prepped for the play the day before by Jordan Hirsch, a trumpet player in the show’s musical ensemble, who immersed the students in the history of Yiddish and the historical context of the play. Another group of students spent the day exploring Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, enjoying the sights but also reflecting on how the story of immigration to the United States relates to what they have been studying. The trip day was met with rave reviews by all participants.