Gann Academy is Greater Boston's Pluralistic Jewish High School

Our students come from all types of backgrounds. You'll have classmates that identify as Reform, Conservative, Secular, Orthodox and much more. Whether you come from a family steeped in traditional Jewish practices or from one whose Jewish identity is more cultural, you'll be at home at Gann. 

Gann students explore Jewish teaching and identity in classes alive with discussion. You'll be immersed in Jewish values and have powerful Jewish experiences in a community of peers. You'll decide who YOU will be as a Jewish adult. 

Through studies in English and Hebrew, relationships with Israeli teenagers, and a six week study experience in Israel, you will feel a part of the worldwide Jewish people and build deep connections to the people and land of Israel.

We encourage students to think about what being Jewish means to them. How do you think about Jewish observance and culture? Where do you see yourself in relation to a community? Through rituals and traditions, conversations and discussions, presentations and lectures, prayer or reflections, Gann students take up the challenge of defining for themselves what values they carry with them as adults.
 
More formal activities such as those described below are complemented by informal conversations—a chat with an advisor, a Shabbaton at a friend's house, a story shared with a classmate. What we have at Gann is a community that encourages mutual respect as well as curiosity. A place for the serious consideration of personal values, community values and life's meaning and purpose.

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  • Zman Kodesh (Sacred Time)

    Gann is committed to starting every day as a community with Zman Kodesh (sacred or separate time) dedicated to worship, religious practice spirituality. Tefilla (prayer) has been a critical component of Jewish life throughout the ages. As such, Gann Academy gives the opportunity to students to attend daily prayer services that are both educationally and spiritually meaningful. Through traditional and alternative Minyanim (prayer groups), students are able to personally and communally reflect on their lives beyond the normal academic routine.

    We offer diverse options for prayer where students and teachers of different backgrounds, commitments, and beliefs can fulfill their religious obligations and/or nurture their minds and souls in ways that are compelling to them. There are also school-wide communal tefillah. All students must attend a minyan (tefillah group) at least twice a week and have the option of attending tefillah two, three, four, or five times per week.

    Zman Kodesh Options for Freshmen

    Mechitza Minyan: A traditional prayer group where prayers are in Hebrew, men and women sit separately (divided by a mechitzah), and only men can lead services, read and be called to the Torah. 

    Traditional Egalitarian Minyan (Trad Egal):
    A traditional prayer group that is fully egalitarian between men and women. Seating is mixed and all prayers are said in Hebrew. Includes the full weekday Torah reading.

    Reform Minyan:
    Using the Reform prayer book, prayers are said in Hebrew or in English, often accompanied by guitar. Engages the Torah in a variety of ways, including discussion, art, and music.
  • Holiday Programming (Jewish Celebrations)

    Through our holiday programming we seek to celebrate and explore Jewish festivals within our mission as a pluralistic Jewish high school.

    Jewish festivals are a unique and integral part of Jewish life and learning. At Gann we observe many Jewish holidays, including Sukkot, Chanukah candle lightings, and Purim festivities.
  • Shabbatonim (Sabbath Retreat)

    During the course of the academic year, Gann Academy sponsors many different Shabbatonim that reflect the diverse religious practice of our student body. Within a broad range of options, all students are certain to find a Shabbat experience that feels right to them.

    All students are required to attend a grade-level shabbaton during the school year. Students may also choose to attend Shabbatonim sponsored by the different clubs and communities at Gann Academy.

    The goal of this program is to expose students to a wide range of Shabbat experiences and to allow students to participate in these experiences in the company of their friends and peers as they choose. Shabbatonim serves to broaden the horizons of our students, deepen friendships and build community.

Glimpse of Gann

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  • Sleeping Under the Stars: myIsrael 2017

    June 2, 2017
    Sixty-six Gann sophomores have spent the last seven weeks exploring Israel through an exciting mix of academics, desert camping, socializing, sports, art, robotics, community service and much, much more. They're participating in myIsrael, Gann's unique Israel trip where students engage with the country on multiple levels.

    The Gann trekkers have met with Knesset members, a Christian journalist, a 90-something pioneer, Palestinians, settlers, representatives of the LGBT community and one of the country's top junior tennis players, to name just a few. And to experience the life of an Israeli teen in real time, Gann kids did a week-long homestay with the families of students from Ironi Hey High School, Gann's sister school in Haifa.
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About the myIsrael Program

myIsrael is the heart of the Gann experience. myIsrael develops graduates that are knowledgeable, sophisticated and passionate about Judaism, and who are connected and committed to Israel as they go off to college and the world.
Rabbi Marc Baker, Head of School

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  • GANN ACADEMY
  • 333 Forest Street
  • Waltham, MA 02452
  • P: 781.642.6800
  • F: 781.642.6805