At Gann Academy we believe that growth in spirituality (deep connection to other people, the natural world, something beyond oneself), wisdom (perspective, patience, meaning-making), and character (kindness, empathy) are important elements in our students' flourishing as human beings. We believe that both traditional Jewish tefilah (prayer) and non-traditional alternatives are effective paths to this kind of growth.
In the words of Columbia University research psychologist Lisa Miller, Ph.D.:
- "There are hundreds of rigorous, elegant, peer-reviewed scientific articles that show spirituality as the root of wellness in the first two decades of life."
- "Spirituality is the central organizing principle of inner life in the second decade, boosting teens into an adulthood of meaning and purpose, thriving and awareness."
- "[Spiritual development] provides a protective health benefit, reducing the risk of depression, substance abuse, aggression, and high-risk behaviors"
To that end, all students participate in Z'man Kodesh (Sacred Time) on Monday and Thursday mornings. In addition, there is optional time for prayer each afternoon and on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. In Z'man Kodesh we aspire to create experiences that engage students' hearts (not only their heads), and that facilitate students' growth in spirituality, wisdom, and character. In all, we offer 10 different Z'man Kodesh options:
- Reform Minyan
- Mechitza Minyan
- Traditional Egalitarian Minyan
- Partnership Minyan
- Spiritual Seeking
- Men's Group
- Women's Group
- Learner's Minyan