Gann's Statement on Racial Justice
Dear Gann Community:
We, alongside communities across the country, are angered and saddened by recent moments of racial violence and injustice, including the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, and Tony McDade. Our tradition teaches us that every person is created in the image of God, b'tzelem elohim, and our hearts are broken by the loss of life and divine spark embodied in each of these human beings and the injustices that our African American communities continue to suffer.
We mourn the loss of these individual lives, as well as the countless other black lives that have fallen victim to centuries of systemic oppression and racism. In this moment, as a multi-racial Jewish community, we recognize that these losses are felt in different ways by the various members of our own community. For far too long, these members of our community have suffered economic, social, educational, medical and political injustice. We honor the voices of those who make our community diverse, vibrant, and strong and stand alongside other faith groups, schools, and institutions in our call for both communal reflection and action.
This week, we gathered as a school to mourn and to learn together. We are grateful to our faculty members and students who generously gave their time and their stories as we try to understand the sufferings of our fellow Americans. Through their words, we grapple with what it means to be citizens, Jews, and learners in the face of so much pain and injustice. Even in a remote environment, we are united in our dedication to building an equitable and inclusive community, and so must ask the question, what can we do? How can we answer the call to action within our walls and beyond?
Gann Academy's mission to educate, to inspire, and to empower intellectually confident, passionately engaged, ethically responsible Jews is more relevant now than ever. The concept of teshuvah, which means both repentance and return, guides our belief that we can learn more and do better as agents of social change. In this moment of reckoning and transformation, we are committed to the ongoing learning and teshuvah required in the fight against racism and injustice. We first start by acknowledging that we can do more by enacting change through education and awareness as well as demanding justice and reform from our civic and political leaders.
We know that this is just the beginning. There is much work to be done in order to fulfill our mission to build a better world where human dignity will flourish. Our commitment to this sacred work is a journey of transformation and renewal, and we are grateful to be able to do it in community with one another and with you.
Dalia Hochman, Ph.D.
Head of School