Hesped (Eulogy) for my father, Stephen A. Baker, z”l

June 6, 2014/8 Sivan 5774     Soon after the sun rose on the morning of Shavuot, the Jewish holiday commemorating the giving and receiving of the Torah, my beloved father’s soul peacefully departed this world. Just as the Jewish People gathered around Mount Sinai, stepping forward as we have for thousands of years to re-experience… Continue reading Hesped (Eulogy) for my father, Stephen A. Baker, z”l


All The World’s A Text

16 September 2016  13 Elul 5776   Shalom Chaverim,   In just these first two weeks of school, I have observed many examples of teaching and learning, sports, arts, student leadership, and Jewish life that remind me why Gann is such an extraordinary community and example of what a high school should do.   During our faculty-staff… Continue reading All The World’s A Text

Weekly Message 4-29-09

24 April 2009  Rosh Chodesh Iyar, 5769  Shalom Chaverim, Three events punctuated this week, each of which highlighted aspects of Gann’s educational mission and vision. On Tuesday, Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), three different Holocaust survivors came to speak to our student body. I sometimes worry whether Jewish high school students, who have heard these… Continue reading Weekly Message 4-29-09

Weekly Message 3-13-09

13 March 2009  17 Adar 5769  Shalom Chaverim,  It has been an intense week for our community. Tuesday’s Purim festivities featured megillah readings, shpiels, a Latke-Hamentashen Debate (which is the ideal Jewish food?) and a fun-filled faculty and student talent show. This morning begins Exploration Week, during which our students will be engaged in activities… Continue reading Weekly Message 3-13-09

Weekly Message 12-5-08

5 December 2008 8 Kislev 5768  Shalom Chaverim,  Addressing our community at hakhel (morning assembly) on Tuesday morning was bittersweet. With open arms and open hearts, our community celebrated the return of half of our Junior class from their trimester in Israel. For the first time this year, our Beit Midrash was standing room only,… Continue reading Weekly Message 12-5-08

Weekly Message 4-23-10

23 April 2010   9 Iyar 5770   Shalom Chaverim,  This week began with two powerful ceremonies—an emotional commemoration of Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) and a spirited celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day). While I always find it difficult not to be in Israel on these days, I was inspired by our school’s programs this… Continue reading Weekly Message 4-23-10

Weekly Message 4-16-10

16 April 2010   2 Iyyar 5770   Shalom Chaverim,  I began my week with a unique privilege. Monday was Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), on which four different Holocaust survivors visited Gann to tell their stories to our students. After they spoke, they joined me in my office, along with two educators from Facing History and… Continue reading Weekly Message 4-16-10

Weekly Message 4-20-12

20 April 2012  28 Nissan 5772   Shalom Chaverim,   Yesterday was Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, one of the more solemn days on our calendar. We continued our tradition of inviting Holocaust survivors to speak to our students, a tradition that includes hearing and bearing witness to their stories and the opportunity to be in the… Continue reading Weekly Message 4-20-12

Weekly Message 4-5-13

10 Omer 5773  5 April 2013   Yom HaShoah 5773    Shalom Chaverim,   As we return to school and work after Pesach, this is a time of year when we acutely feel the rhythm of the Jewish calendar. These are the days of the counting of the omer (sefirat ha’omer), during which we count each of… Continue reading Weekly Message 4-5-13

Weekly Message 3-15-13

15 March 2013  4 Nissan 5773  No Words Shalom Chaverim,   As I write this, I am sitting in what is, perhaps, the ultimate, Jewish, liminal space. I am on an airplane from Poland to Israel.   Gann's Exploration Week officially begins today, but I began my "exploration" a few days earlier. I have the privilege of… Continue reading Weekly Message 3-15-13