Gann Welcomes New Jewish Education Professionals

Gann is thrilled to announce the expansion of the Jewish Education team. Three new individuals will join our talented faculty and, together, will continue to bring our Jewish Education program from strength to strength while reflecting the pluralistic nature of our community. 

Beginning next year, Gann’s Jewish Education team will integrate Jewish Studies, Jewish Life, Hebrew language, and Israel Education to expand our holistic approach for students.

The following professionals will start this summer: 
  • Rabbi Dina Brawer, Assistant Head of School for Jewish Education 
  • Rabbi Vanessa Harper, Reform Rabbi-in-Residence, Jewish Studies Faculty  
  • Simon Luxemburg, Strategy and Innovation Manager 
Jewish education is amplified through the power of role models. In Hebrew, we often use the word דוגמא dugma (example) as shorthand to describe individuals who energize and inspire others. Each teen gravitates to a different adult role model; our goal is for every Gann student to find their own personal role model, their own “rabbi,” who can help inspire their connection to Judaism. 

In a first-of-a-kind role, Rabbi Harper will work in shared collaboration with both Gann and Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley. Sharing resources has been a long-time dream of Jewish educators in the Boston area and we are thrilled to pilot this approach.  

Please join us in welcoming Rabbi Brawer, Rabbi Harper, and Simon to our community! 

Rabbi Dina Brawer, Assistant Head of School for Jewish Education 
Rabbi Dina Brawer was born and raised in Milan, Italy, and studied Torah in Jerusalem, New York, and London. She holds a BA and MA from the University of London, and rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat.  She is a well-respected scholar and teacher.  While in London, she developed  Mishkan, a pluralistic pop-up Jewish community, and founded the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) UK. Rabbi Brawer brings her fluency in Hebrew, along with French, and Italian, to Gann as well as her creativity. She enjoys pottery and producing Jewish educational podcasts.  

Rabbi Vanessa Harper, Reform Rabbi in Residence at Gann
Rabbi Vanessa Harper will be receiving her rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), the Reform movement’s Rabbinical School, in May 2021. In Boston, Rabbi Harper will share her prodigious talents with both Gann Academy as a Jewish Studies teacher and Rabbinic Advisor and at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley as a member of the clergy team.  Rabbi Harper has extensive experience in both formal and informal education and is known on Instagram for her creative challah creations. Check it out at @lechlechallah. Rabbi Harper is a graduate of Williams College and a Wexner fellow.  

Simon Luxemburg, Strategy and Innovation Manager
Simon is formerly the Director of Programming at Camp Ramah in New England, the Conservative Movement’s affiliated Jewish camp. He is currently completing his combined MA/MBA as part of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University. At Gann, Simon will work on innovative programs to expand Gann’s mission in the community. Simon will lead Z’man Kodesh (prayer) and participate in our Shabbatonim and holiday experiences. Simon is a graduate of Connecticut College and a Nachshon Project fellow. 
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