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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  • Z'man Kodesh (Sacred Time)

    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
    • Movement
    • Spiritual Seeking
    • Men's Group
    • Women's Group
    • Meditation
    • Learner's Minyan
  • 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 Retreats)

    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.

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

Learn More

Glimpse of Gann

List of 4 news stories.

  • Zach Sherman has found an interesting use for one of Gann's 3D printers

    High-Tech Chanukah: Singing 3D Printer

    Junior Zach Sherman has found an interesting use for one of Gann's 3D printers, and, surprisingly, it doesn't involve printing. What does it involve? Chanukah music!

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  • "Hanukkah goes high-tech at Gann Academy," reports the Globe.

    Gann was recently profiled for the exciting, and innovative, ways students are celebrating Chanukah this year.

    Excerpt from December 10th edition of The Boston Globe:
    Hanukkah goes high-tech at Gann Academy, the Jewish high school in Waltham. “I’ve inherited a whole lot of kids who are gung-ho on making things happen,” including making “a 3-D printer do things it wasn’t meant to do,” said Seth Battis, chairman of the newly created Computing Design & Fabrication Department.

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  • Mifgash 2017

    Gann Students and Israeli Peers Share a Week of Fun and Introspection

    Gann Academy recently hosted 33 Israeli 11th graders, their principal, and two teachers during the mifgash, the annual encounter between students from Gann and Ironi Hey High School in Haifa.

    But this year there was a twist that made the visit even more meaningful: the teenagers already knew each other, thanks to last spring’s Israel trip—myIsrael— which, for the first time, sent 10th, not 11th graders, abroad. And more Gann students than ever participated.

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  • Sleeping Under the Stars: myIsrael 2017

    Sleeping Under the Stars: myIsrael 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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List of 3 events.

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