On Wednesday, April 29, the MTA boys of Mr. Adam Dobrick’s American history class visited some of New York’s most significant and historic sites. Their journey began in Battery Park, where they visited Clinton Castle. This location served as the first immigration station in the United States, preceding even the famous Ellis Island, which, alongside the Statue of Liberty, the boys were able to see from the shores of southern Manhattan. Mr. Dobrick remarked on the myriad contributions of Jewish people to American life that could be appreciated in just that one great symbol of liberty.
The students then went to the South Street Seaport and, as two great 19th century merchant ships sloshed above them, learned about New York’s role as the center of world trade. The boys looked across the Hudson River and observed the shipyards in Elizabeth and Jersey City as they learned about the revolutionary impact of containerization and its role in transforming the nature of New York City in global commerce.
After a quick Starbucks run, the class visited Federal Hall—touring the building where they saw the First Treasury, where the First Congress met, and where George Washington was inaugurated.
Next on their journey were Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange and the incredible J.P Morgan building, built in the age of skyscrapers as a two story building on an entire city block. The boys could not resist taking some “touristy” pictures atop the famous Merril Lynch bull, too!
The boys then ended their trip with a visit to the new One World Trade building and the World Trade Center Memorial. They learned about the tragedy of 9/11, the heroism of emergency personnel and regular citizens, and the subsequent change in New York City’s actual and political landscape.
Within just a few blocks, Mr. Dobrick showed the boys the great past and present of New York City, and how deeply interconnected the island of Manhattan is with the world at large. The boys then headed back to their own historic MTA building and davened minchah, concluding a fantastic trip through the city they now regard as their “second backyard.”