The Power of Pluralism

One of our school’s several Torah scroll’s needs to be repaired. This Torah is most often used by the school’s traditional egalitarian minyan (one of several different minyanim including Reform, alternative and mechitza). Consistent with the egalitarian minyan’s principles, the members of the minyan want to invite a female soferet (scribe) to fix the Torah.… Continue reading The Power of Pluralism


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

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 5-23-08

May 23, 2008  18 Iyar 5768 – Lag B’Omer    Shalom Chaverim,  Laughter and joy filled the Black Box Theater and the rest of the school last night as our students wowed our community in Playhem, a collection of one-act plays that were produced, directed and acted entirely by students. Audiences roared with applause and… Continue reading Weekly Message 5-23-08

Weekly 1-25-08

25 January 2008  18 Shevat 5768    Shalom Chaverim,  At the beginning of this week, while our community commemorated the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and celebrated the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, I was in Houston, TX, representing Gann Academy at the Ravsak (Network of Jewish Community Schools) Annual Leadership Conference. The conference brings… Continue reading Weekly 1-25-08

Weekly Message 12-20-07

20 December 2007  11 Tevet 5768    Shalom Chaverim, and please forgive the length of this letter - I think I am overcompensating this week for my temporary inability to speak!  Yesterday, as many of you know, I underwent surgery on my vocal chord for a condition that was, thank G-d, not life-threatening, but rather… Continue reading Weekly Message 12-20-07

Weekly Message 10-31-08

31 October 2008  2 Heshvan 5769  Shalom Chaverim,  Our first full week back in school after the holidays has been intense and the energy high: Our seniors are putting the finishing touches on their early admissions college applications; our sports teams are competing for league championships; and, our entire community is preparing for next week’s… Continue reading Weekly Message 10-31-08

Weekly Message 5-28-10

28 May 2010  15 Sivan 5770   Shalom Chaverim,  I thought I fully understood why the havdalah candle (the three-stranded, three-wicked candle used in the ceremony marking the end of Shabbat) is such a perfect symbol for Gann Academy. The multiple interwoven strands of the candle beautifully represent the diversity of our pluralistic community and the… Continue reading Weekly Message 5-28-10

Weekly Message 4-30-10

30 April 2010   15 Iyar 5770   On Wednesday night we launched our first Parent Learning Session about pluralism in an effort to generate community-wide conversation about Gann’s pluralism and our Jewish educational mission and vision. To my great excitement, 35 parents engaged with me and each other about this core aspect of our school’s mission,… Continue reading Weekly Message 4-30-10

Weekly Message 3-25-10

25 March 2010   10 Nisan 5770  Shalom Chaverim,  One of the most meaningful aspects of Exploration Week is what Jewish mystical interpreters of the Torah might call “the space between the letters.” Of course, Exploration Week is about unique and creative programs, opportunities to learn about and give back to the world in new, more… Continue reading Weekly Message 3-25-10