Gann's myIsrael trip is a transformative, 6-week immersive deep dive into Israeli society, culture and history. All seniors are able to explore Israel through an exciting mix of academics, desert camping, socializing, sports, art, high-tech, community service and much, much more. The program links directly to the Gann curriculum—from Jewish studies to science—and involves Gann teachers from multiple disciplines. Students have the option to customize parts of their trip by delving deeply into subject areas of their choice.
Unlike other American high school Israel trips, myIsrael incorporates Israeli peers who travel with the students and participate in several activities. It offers a 360-degree perspective on Israel, including meetings with Jewish settlers, Palestinians, and Arab Israelis to gain insights into the complexity of Israeli politics and society.
Through myIsrael, Gann students have:
- Tested water from the Sea of Galilee as part of a Hydrotech course
- Met with Knesset members to understand how Israel is governed
- Built and raced miniature cars at the Technion—considered the MIT of Israel
- Met with representatives of the LGBT community to better understand different groups' perspectives
- Cleaned up forests destroyed by fires
- Refereed for the Peres Center's soccer tournament, which brought together 800 Palestinian and Israeli children to break down barriers and form bonds of friendship
The program also includes homestays, social experiences with Israeli teenagers at other high schools, outdoor adventures, holiday and Shabbat celebrations, workshops, Israeli cultural experiences, and field trips to sites throughout Israel.
Along the way students build connections with their Israeli counterparts, fueling their individual motivations and resulting in both lifelong learning and lifelong friendships.
At the end of the six weeks, students return with more than just memories. They return connected to their heritage and birthright with a deepened sense of empathy and a heightened ability to make complex ethical decisions. They return with a clearer sense of self and a meaningful relationship to Israel and the world.
In an effort to ensure the myIsrael program is financially accessible to every student, the cost of the program is highly subsidized.
myIsrael was co-created by Gann, Israeli educational experts and staff from Ironi Hey High School.
CJP’s Boston-Haifa Partnership, which has been a leader in fostering connections between young Jews in the Boston area and Israel, has been an important partner in making this program a reality.