Our vision of the role that competitive athletics can play in the lives of high school students is a deeply personal one. We—the head of school and athletic director of Gann Academy in Waltham, Massachusetts—have been playing competitive sports since we were children, and we were blessed with opportunities to compete at both the high… Continue reading SPORTS LE-SHEM SHAMAYIM: THE SACRED MISSION OF HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS


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

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

Weekly Message 2-1-08

1 February 2008  25 Shevat 5768  Shalom Chaverim,  Early this morning I read a headline in the New York Times that intrigued and somewhat disturbed me. The article, “Online Schooling Grows, Setting Off a Debate,” describes the growing phenomenon of students – beginning in elementary school – who are not only taking classes on line,… Continue reading Weekly Message 2-1-08

Weekly Message 11-16-07

11 16 07    Shalom Chaverim,     I am writing this week from the Alexander Muss campus in Hod Hasharon, Israel. Julie Koven (Librarian and 11th Grade Class Dean) and I just arrived in Israel this evening and we were reunited with our juniors, who returned tonight from their final tiyul (trip) to Northern… Continue reading Weekly Message 11-16-07

Weekly Message 10-19-07

10 19 07    Shalom Chaverim.     At the beginning of this school year we discussed, as a community, the Jewish value of shemirat halashon (guarding the tongue) - the constructive, and often, destructive power of speech. For many of us, how we speak and what we say varies depending on where, why, and… Continue reading Weekly Message 10-19-07

Weekly Message 3-20-09

20 March 2009  24 Adar 5769  Shalom Chaverim,  As we read and hear stories from our students around the country, on day trips, and here at Exploration University, I am reminded that Exploration Week is much more than a break from our normal routine. This week, our students cooked gourmet food, sewed quilts, played lacrosse;… Continue reading Weekly Message 3-20-09

Weekly Message 6-11-10

11 June 2010   29 Sivan 5770  Shalom Chaverim,  As students complete their final exams this week, and our seniors prepare to graduate on Sunday, I marvel at how quickly the school year has passed and how much we all have learned and grown. I would like to share with you a wonderful moment that beautifully… Continue reading Weekly Message 6-11-10

Weekly Message 5-14-10

14 May 2010   Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5770   Shalom Chaverim,  Although our school year is coming to an end, this is also a time of new beginnings. This past Wednesday night was our New Parent Orientation, an opportunity for parents of incoming ninth graders to meet each other and to learn about some practical aspects of… Continue reading Weekly Message 5-14-10