This past week served as a powerful reminder of the significance of light during the Chanukah season. The Gann community embraced daily opportunities to shine, whether it was lighting up the dance floor at our 9th and 10th grade Chanukah hop, participating in our school-wide community candle lighting each afternoon, or connecting with friends and family while watching musical performances at our Community Chanukah party.
Our students, faculty, and staff have shown that they can spread light and joy even in the most challenging of times. We shared these special moments together as each grade hosted its own candle lighting, complete with an MC, musical performance, or art demonstration, and meaningful kavanah (words of intention), ending with a different fried treat, including latkes, churros, and sufganiyot!
Starting on the first night of Chanukah, our 12th graders kicked off the celebrations, illuminating the room with a special Chanukah rap performance. The 10th graders took the spotlight on the 5th night, showcasing a project where students demonstrated cosmic light with the eight planets representing each candle on the Menorah and the sun representing the Shamash.
On the 6th night of Chanukah, our 11th graders led us in our candle lighting. They hosted The ShenaniGanns and Red Cleffers director and alum Spike Kraus ’09, who performed his song “Light Up the Night“, which made Spotify’s official Chanukah playlist this year! Eden R. ’25 shared a kavanah shedding light on the importance of listening to others. She emphasized ensuring that everyone’s ideas and thoughts are heard, referring to a recent memory from the 11th grade Shabbaton where they participated in an activity led to teach the participants how to truly listen to each other. Eden related this experience to being a student at a pluralistic school, highlighting the significance of respecting everyone’s religious practices, opinions, and values to foster genuine connections with fellow students and encourage active listening.
On Wednesday afternoon, we gathered for our annual Community Chanukah Party. The room was filled with incredible songs from our student music ensembles, an engaging D’var Torah discussing ideas and takeaways that are typically overlooked when explaining the story of Chanukah, insightful remarks from Dr. Hochman on the importance of togetherness to support those in Israel, and the illuminating flames of the menorah, acting as a promise for brighter days ahead. Thank you to everyone who played a role in the celebration, and to everyone who attended to connect with members of the Gann Community.
To conclude the Chanukah festivities, our 9th grade led the celebrations during our Homecoming Pep Rally. We are thankful for our tight-knit community and the Chanukah spirit these celebrations encapsulated, reinforcing our deep sense unity, showcasing our collective ability to spread light and uplift our local communities.