Jewish Educational Learning with Soul

What does it take to make truly transformative Jewish education? Rabbi Marc Baker argues that leadership and education are moral and spiritual endeavors that require constant self-examination and improvement. Reflecting on his work at the Gann Academy, Rabbi Baker discusses how Mussar teachings can be incorporated into the curriculum for both students and teachers in… Continue reading Jewish Educational Learning with Soul


How We Tell Our Stories

16 December 2016  16 Kislev 5777    Shalom Chaverim,   Last night I was mesmerized once again by a Gann student theatrical production, this time of the George Bernard Shaw classic, St. Joan. Our students’ depth, sophistication, talent, and tremendous hard work were on display in our Bernice Krupp Black Box Theater in a show that… Continue reading How We Tell Our Stories

Researchers and Soul Searchers

9 December 2016  9 Kislev 5777    This week I observed an exquisite example of what the educational world calls “project-based learning,” driven by a task with real-world consequences.   Around the corner from Gann (or just through the woods, if you take a short-cut) is the site of The Fernald School. Before it was closed… Continue reading Researchers and Soul Searchers

Planting Trees

18 November 2016  17 Heshvan 5777    Shalom Chaverim,   I just returned from a two-day trip to Israel, where I visited places and people with whom Gann is building collaborative partnerships, spent time with Gann alumni, and—the reason for the trip—joined our nearly 30 Gann juniors for the final days of their Israel experience.   On… Continue reading Planting Trees

Election Reflections

11 November 2016 10 Marcheshvan 5777    Shalom Chaverim,   So much has already been written and said about the presidential election. I am not sure that I have much to add nor that I want to follow my inclination to rush immediately to words. At the same time, we began this week to process the… Continue reading Election Reflections

Our Messy Democracy

4 November 2016  3 Marcheshvan 5777    Shalom Chaverim,   With this election finally coming to an end next week, many of us are feeling a great deal of anxiety, both about the outcome and about what feels like the fragile, if not damaged, state of our country and our democracy. As a high school, we… Continue reading Our Messy Democracy

Under Our Roof

21 October 2016  19 Tishrei 5777    I have recently been reminded why Gann Academy chose to build its culture and community on a foundation of Jewish pluralism, a commitment to diversity and engagement with the “other” that is too rare in the Jewish community and that, while a hallmark of American democracy, seems to… Continue reading Under Our Roof

“The Times They Are A-Changin”

14 October 2016  12 Tishrei 5777    Shalom Chaverim,   After the news broke about Bob Dylan receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday, my inbox and social media were filled with messages. Any Nobel Prize announcement is an historic moment, but when the recipient is Jewish, it is an “important moment in Jewish history”… Continue reading “The Times They Are A-Changin”

Two Minutes Matter—A Yom Kippur Reflection

7 October 2016 5 Tishrei 5777    Shalom Chaverim,   In the spirit of Yom Kippur and this season of teshuva—reflection, introspection, and repentance—I want to share one way that I recently missed the mark (probably the best translation for the Hebrew word for “sin”) as Head of School and what I learned from it.   Last… Continue reading Two Minutes Matter—A Yom Kippur Reflection

From Generation to Generation

23 September 2016  20 Elul 5776     Shalom Chaverim,   On Monday we welcomed almost 95 grandparents and special visitors into the school for our second annual lunch and learn. It was a unique opportunity for them to see where and how their grandchildren spend so much of their time during high school and to learn… Continue reading From Generation to Generation