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

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

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 5-30-08

May 30, 2008  25 Iyar 5768    Shalom Chaverim,  As we rush to the finish line of the school year, you can feel the energy in the air at Gann. It is a perfect mixture of anticipation of finishing the year (and of summer vacation, of course!), stress around how much work we all have… Continue reading Weekly Message 5-30-08

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 4-11-08

April 11, 2008  6 Nissan, 5768    Shalom Chaverim,  This week I was reminded how special Gann Academy is, how blessed we are to be part of the Boston Jewish community, and how exciting a time it is for the field of Jewish day school education. From Sunday through Tuesday, PEJE (The Partnership for Excellence… Continue reading Weekly Messages 4-11-08

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 3-28-08

28 March 2008  21 Adar 2, 5768    Shalom Chaverim,  In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Shemini, the mishkan (tabernacle) has been completed and the altar has been consecrated, and Aaron and his sons are commanded to bring the first set of sacrifices, which will atone for them and for their entire community. This is… Continue reading Weekly Message 3-28-08

Weekly Message 3-7-08

7 March 2008  30 Adar 1, 5768  Shalom Chaverim,  Last night, I was glowing with pride and full of emotion as I watched our drama club’s production of Steven Sondheim’s complex and challenging musical, Into the Woods. It was the perfect bookend for a week that began for me last motzei Shabbat (Saturday night), when… Continue reading Weekly Message 3-7-08