Logo for the Mapping Project

The Mapping Project

Gann Academy

Gann Academy is a private, plural faith, Jewish high school in Waltham MA, which promotes student trips to Israel and encourages Zionist viewpoints amongst its students. Gann also hosts Zionist events on its campus which are open to parents and students from broader Boston area communities.

Encouraging student travel to Israel

Gann Academy offers a study abroad program in Israel called "myIsrael," open to its high school students after their freshman year. Gann Academy highlights myIsrael as a cornerstone of its curriculum, and tuition for the program is heavily subsidized by Boston Area donors, making the program accessible to students and parents regardless of financial barriers. Gann Academy also has welcomed Israeli delegations into its classrooms to encourage Gann students to enroll in the program. Gann's myIsrael program serves to encourage the impressionable young people who participate in it to understand their Jewish identities as being inextricably linked to the state of Israel.

Gann's myIsrael trips include efforts to "Pinkwash" Israel, encouraging Gann students to interact with LGBTQ+ Israelis in order to promote the false idea that Israel is friendly to LGBTQ people, in order to whitewash over the realities of Israel's colonial domination of Palestinians and theft of Palestinian land and resources. Similarly, Gann's myIsrael trips include efforts to "Greenwash" Israel, falsely depicting Israel as environmentally conscientious by having students participate in wildfire clean-ups. In fact, the wildfires Gann students help clean up are caused by Israel's arrogant introduction of non-native pine forests into the ecosystems of the Naqab Desert, as part of an effort to prevent Palestinians from returning to expropriated land atop which the forests have been planted. Indigenous to Northern Europe, these pine trees fare incredibly poorly in the desert climate of the Naqab, causing them to catch fire hundreds of times a year.

Gann Academy also hosts public events on school premises for Boston-area parents and students outside of Gann's student body, in which students are encouraged to travel to Israel through an array of Zionist programs. In November 2019, for example, Gann hosted an event entitled "Israel Gap Year Fair," sponsored by Masa Israel. Founded by the Israeli Prime Minister's Office in collaboration with The Jewish Agency for IsraelMasa Israel uses its gap year programs to foster identification with Israel and Zionism amongst Jewish diaspora youth.

Zionism in clubs and curriculum

Gann Academy has a student club called "Heifers for Israel," which hosts guest speakers and "helps the Gann community...to develop a stance on Israel, and be inspired to take action."


In 2009, Gann Academy received an anonymous donation of $12.5 million from several families. From fiscal years 2007-2020, the pro-Israel donor advised fund Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) anonymously funneled $8,350,349 from its donors to Gann Academy. Fidelity Charitable similarly funnels funds from its donors into the Gann Academy. Anonymous funding obscures the identities of those who hold power and how they wield it. 

Gann Academy has also received publicly disclosed donations from foundations run by Boston area Zioinst donors, including: $4,779,000 from the Joseph and Rae Gann Foundation from FY03-present; hundreds of thousands USD from the Ruderman Family Foundation from FY10-21; $160,000 from Kraft Family Philanthropies from FY06-FY07; and $875,000 from the Klarman Family Foundation from FY16-FY19 (with the Klarmans' FY16 & F17 donations specifically earmarked to "support the pilot of My Israel: A four-year integrated approach to Israel education," and their FY18 & FY19 donations earmarked to "support the myIsrael program for fiscal years 2019 and 2020").

2021-2022 Trustees

William Foster President
Michelle Black Vice President

Danielle Remis Hackel

Vice President
Jill Smith Treasurer
Sheldon Hanau Clerk
Michael Bohnen Trustee
Jessica Carroll Trustee
Scott Cohen Trustee
Lisa Popik Coll Trustee
Rachel Dixon Trustee
Janice Gross Trustee
Michelle Herzlinger Trustee
Nicole Lieberman Gann Trustee
Jonathan Joffe Trustee
Adam Koppel Trustee
Justine Levin-Allerhand Trustee
Joshua Hoffman-Senn Trustee
Stephanie Listokin Trustee
Joshua Margolis Trustee
David Micley Trustee
Ellis Morris Trustee
Jay Ruderman Trustee
Sean Wilder Trustee
Bil Zarch Trustee
Diana Lloyd Trustee

Carl Blanchard

Honorary Trustee
George Krupp Honorary Trustee
Joshua Katzen Honorary Trustee
Elizabeth Jick Honorary Trustee
Bonnie Hausman Honorary Trustee
Linda Greenseid Honorary Trustee
Josh Elkin Honorary Trustee
Solomon Eisenberg Honorary Trustee
Alan Crane Honorary Trustee

Frank Litwin 

Honorary Trustee
Sidney Swartz Honorary Trustee
Leo Sprecher  Honorary Trustee
Jonathan Sarna Honorary Trustee
Shari Redstone Honorary Trustee
Shira Ruderman Honorary Trustee
Cynthia Marcus Honorary Trustee
Alan Lobovits Honorary Trustee
333 Forest StreetWaltham, MA 02452

Back to main page.