Gann Awardees Embody School’s Values

May 5, 2017
In the fall, Anna Finklestein and Lily Rabinoff-Goldman led their 11th grade history students on a fascinating intellectual journey. Through interviews and archival research, the students excavated the complex history of Gann’s next-door-neighbor, the now-shuttered Fernald School here. The school served developmentally delayed children and adults—and those deemed so—for more than a century.
Gann faculty members, Finklestein, Rabinoff-Goldman and Waltham historian Alex Green, who was instrumental in the project, will be honored with the Care Award at the second annual Gann Awards ceremony on June 6.

The ceremony is a celebration of the students, faculty, staff, alums and community members who personify Gann’s core values: Connect (Chibur), Strive (She’ifa), Care (Kavod), and Create (Yetzirah). “Our school is built upon the contributions of the entire community,” said Head of School Rabbi Marc Baker. “In honoring our awardees, we are also celebrating our core values, which are at the foundation of everything we do. The Gann community turned out in full force for the Gann Awards last year, our inaugural year, and we expect the same support this year.”

The other honorees are:
Singer-songwriter Becca Gastfriend ’11 will receive the Create Award:
Gastfriend has released a solo album of original songs, grounded in her personal journey. “Becca had a dream as a young teenager to become a musician and she has pursued her passion relentlessly,” said Rabbi Marc Baker. “She lives out, in a literal sense, what we teach at Gann: to find your own voice and to have the courage to pursue what you love.”

Graduate student in Harvard’s Department of Government Jonathan Gould ‘06 will receive the Strive Award:
Gould is not only an academic, but also a leader in realms inside and outside of Harvard. While attending Harvard Law School, he served as president of the Harvard Law Review—a post previously held by former President Barack Obama. He also worked at the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and at Public Citizen Litigation Group. Gould’s interest in the law began during his Gann days. “Jonathan combines tremendous intellectual firepower with a social conscience,” said History department chair Yoni Kadden. “Anyone who has enjoyed my Supreme Court class has him to thank because we designed it together.”

Executive Director, Jewish Living at Temple Beth Elohim and mother of senior Zach Oshins, Alison Kur will be honored with the Connect Award:
“Alison has been a strategic thought partner and a tremendous advocate and ambassador for Gann. She has helped grow our Reform student community to more than 20% of our total student body,” said Rabbi Marc Baker. “Alison has truly strengthened the religious pluralism that makes Gann so special.”

The evening begins at 6:30 p.m., when Rabbi Baker gives his year-in-review presentation, followed by the awards ceremony at 7:00 p.m.

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