The Class of 2024’s California Adventure

As our seniors’ week-long trip to the West Coast wrapped up this week, they reflected on the memorable experience of exploring the Jewish community and the rich Jewish culture of Los Angeles. Over the past week, they stayed at Camp Alonim in Simi Valley, California, and traveled to various locations in California.

Their California adventure began with a visit to Homeboy Industries, an LA nonprofit that provides career training and job opportunities to previously incarcerated individuals. They then visited the LA Holocaust Museum, where they had the honor of hearing from two October 7 survivors and capped off their first day with a spirited night at a Dodgers Game.

Students explored downtown LA, enjoyed views of the Hollywood sign, and spent time at Universal Studios. They also took time to reflect on their four years at Gann and the memories and bonds they developed within the Class of 2024. After celebrating Shabbat together and participating in a powerful Havdalah experience, they gathered for a bonfire in celebration of Lag B’Omer over the weekend.

Over the last few days of the trip, students visited two important LA Jewish centers of life. They began by volunteering at the Pico Union Project, an old synagogue created by a group of Jewish people to build an equitable community. During its 10th anniversary event on May 26, students helped at their farmers market and interacted with local community members. They then visited Temple Beth Shalom, one of the most diverse synagogues in LA and a community center for Jews from all over the world.

Memorial Day began with Z’man Kodesh, followed by a special visit from a Jewish U.S. Army Chaplain candidate who shared her service experience. To finish off the day, students headed to a beach in Malibu.

On their last day, students embarked on a journey to explore the Santa Monica Pier and joined together later in the evening to share blessings, intentions, and reflections of their time in California as they prepared to head back to Boston! Thank you to everyone who contributed to the execution of such an amazing trip!


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Aviva Manin

As Director of Community Relations, Aviva Manin leads admissions, marketing, and internal and external community initiatives at Gann Academy.  Before joining

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