“The Gift of a Day School Education” series

By: Merissa Jaye, Gann Academy class of 2014. 

I was never a huge fan of studying rabbinic literature or Tanakh. After finishing 8th grade at my local Jewish day school, I felt grateful but also “done.” I wanted to interact and engage with a wider community and meet new students.

That’s why I chose to attend a secular private high school. I met some nice kids, loved my sports teams but ultimately felt unsatisfied. Learning was devoid of essential issues such as meaning, identity and morality. These issues were casually mentioned in the curriculum, but learning was limited to the classroom. Moreover, classes seemed to have many students who only sought a passable grade. I knew many peers who felt satisfied with that but I wanted more!

In all honesty, I transferred to Gann because of what I thought I knew. I knew the classes were interesting and I knew I had friends there who really enjoyed school.

I knew coming to Gann would be a better place.  What I didn’t know was that it would be a more fulfilling place — one that provided me with a complete high school experience.

Attending Gann has opened the doors to learning. I study atoms and enlightenment, philosophy and Frankenstein, Macbeth and exponential functions. I also study Rabbinic Law on Tzedakah and the story of Jonah with Rashi commentaries.

The most valuable part of my Gann education are the questions I am forced to confront. These questions — such as who are you, why did events occur, what is honor, what does it mean to be Jewish, what is worth caring about — posed in both my secular and Judaic classes complement each other adding nuance and richness to my learning.  My classes delve into these kinds of questions, creating a learning experience that is thoughtful and challenging. 

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