Educational Philosophy

Introduction  Twice in my life I was given the gift of walking through an open door into a new world. The first was a world two hundred years old, that no member of my family had ever known before. The second was a world three thousand years old, a world that nearly every generation of… Continue reading Educational Philosophy


The Meaning of Pluralism in a Jewish High School

Introduction  For the past four years I have been in what you might call a polemic, or perhaps even a disputation, with a friend and colleague of mine, a religious leader, from Atlanta. This religious leader is fond of speaking from the pulpit about the perils of pluralism – indeed, he perceives pluralism as both… Continue reading The Meaning of Pluralism in a Jewish High School


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


Rigorous classes, holiday celebrations, sports, arts, boyfriends, breakups, SATs, bus rides, trips, shabbatonim, tefillah, Talmud Torah, Hebrew, English, Chinese, Israel, America... We believe that there is a growing need to ground our work in theory and to develop a shared language about what it means to bring the best of the Jewish camp experience to… Continue reading DEEPENING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT SCHOOLS CAN LEARN FROM CAMPS

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

Weekly Message 6-6-08

June 6, 2008  3 Sivan 5768    Shalom Chaverim,  There is something powerful about final exam week. Our students enter a different mode of learning that is intense and at times anxiety provoking, yet pushes them to stretch themselves as they review, recover, and discover all they have learned this year. Walking through the school… Continue reading Weekly Message 6-6-08

Weekly Message 5-9-08

May 9, 2008  4 Iyar 5768    After celebrating Rosh Chodesh (the New Month of) Iyar on Monday and Tuesday, the rest of our week focused on our community’s identification with the State of Israel and all who live there. Together with our Jewish brothers and sisters around the world, we commemorated Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s… Continue reading Weekly Message 5-9-08

Weekly Messages 4-5-08

5 April 2008  28 Adar 2, 5768    Shalom Chaverim,  This Shabbat is one of the special Shabbatot leading up to the holiday of Passover, and it is called “Shabbat HaChodesh”, the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Nissan (this Sunday), the first day of the month of Nissan, during which Passover falls. We read a special… Continue reading Weekly Messages 4-5-08

Weekly Message 3-21-08

21 March 2008  Purim 5768  Shalom Chaverim,  Today we celebrate Purim together as a community – praying and reading Megillat Esther, fulfilling the mitzvoth of Matanot L’Evyonim (giving tzedakkah to the poor), Mishloach Manot (giving gifts of food to our friends), and eating a festive meal together. We also bring Exploration Week to a close… Continue reading Weekly Message 3-21-08

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