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Shavua Tov | Have a Good Week | שבוע טוב

List of 10 news stories.

  • Back to School at Gann

    When the Rabbis set the Jewish calendar thousands of years ago, they could not possibly have fathomed trips to Staples or back-to-school shopping. However, each year, modern Jews experience a beautiful alignment between the fresh start that a new school year brings and the preparations we make for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
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  • Graduation 2022

    I wish I could devote this graduation speech solely to gratitude and celebration. But we are all adults here. And we need to talk about the hard stuff too.
    From the paralysis of government to enact gun control to the threats to our democracy we witnessed on January 6, 2021, our society is in a state of moral uncertainty.

    How do you, as young adults, step into this world and become people able to navigate complex, thorny decisions? How do you know what you believe and how do you figure that out?

    And while there exist many ethical systems, you have been given the gift of a rich, ancient framework in Judaism that will help guide you and center you as you confront the questions of the 21st Century. 
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  • The Talmud of COVID: Leadership in Times of Challenge

    As we enter the Thanksgiving season, leaders and CEOs have a chance to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of leading our institutions during these tumultuous times.  
    I am proud that Gann was one of the first schools in our region to open safely in person this past summer. Now, as the adrenaline of the summer planning begins to fade, I find myself reflecting on some of the difficult questions my team has faced over these past several months. For example, what is the role of an institution in dictating individuals’ personal behavior when what happens on nights and weekends poses real risk to our community? How do we provide maximum support to our employees while ensuring that key functions of the institution are maintained at the level of excellence needed to survive the pandemic? Do we allocate all of our resources in the short term to get through the challenges at hand or keep the longer term in mind?
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  • Reinventing Community in a Time of Isolation

    As we prepare for Yom Kippur, we reflect on this unusual year and the experience of living, working, teaching, and parenting in a pandemic. 

    I am thrilled to report that Gann Academy successfully reopened in person this past August. In order to reopen safely, we had to reinvent every aspect of running a school. Within six short weeks, we rewrote Gann’s schedule, transportation protocols, homework policies, and more. We even figured out how to play team sports while physically distancing and masked. Our goal was to ensure the highest levels of safety for our faculty, staff, and students while maintaining key elements of the Gann experience.
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  • 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. 

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  • First Fruits: Celebrating Gann Babayit

    This past weekend, we commemorated the Jewish festival of Shavuot. Shavuot is the ancient festival that is also known as Chag Ha’Bikkurim or the "festival of first fruits." The first fruits were the choice crop brought to the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. As the Torah states in D’varim 26:2: "You shall take the first of every fruit of the ground that you bring in from your Land that your G-d gives you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that your G-d, will choose."
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  • Shavua Tov: Jewish Continuity in the Age of Zoom

    As a child growing up in Boston, I used to eagerly await Grandparents Day at my Jewish Day School. My grandmother, Savta, would take the train from New York City (the center of the universe in her humble opinion) to visit my school in Newton. She would schmooze with the other grandparents, kvell when we performed Hebrew songs, and then go back to the Upper West Side with deep satisfaction, naches (pride), and some sort of existential confidence in Jewish continuity. I suspect the event also secured Savta serious bragging rights among the other Jewish grandmothers of the Upper West Side! For my part, upon reflection, so much of my emerging Jewish identity as a child became connected to Savta’s pride, to her immigrant life story, and to the beauty, rituals, and rhythms of her Shabbat and holiday table. While in some schools, Grandparents and Friends Day is a “nice to have,” at schools like Gann, connecting with grandparents is essential to our sacred mission of Jewish education.

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  • Shavua Tov: Gann BaBayit (Gann at Home)

    It is a true sign of the strength of our community that even in such challenging times, there has been an outpouring of support for Gann Academy. Students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members have all reached out to see how they could help our beloved school.
    As soon as we made the tough decision to move Gann to online learning last week, our team had to pivot to ensure that a new plan could be put in place for students, for employees, for our business functions, for development, and for prospective students. Over a short period of time, I witnessed an abundance of creativity, teamwork, and agility across all departments at Gann.

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  • Shavua Tov: The Art of Waiting Patiently

    Gann Academy students and teachers engage in character development as part of our Mussar program. Mussar is a Jewish spiritual practice based on the idea of cultivating inner virtues as a way to live an ethical and meaningful life. One of the key virtues in Mussar practice is savlanut (patience). In this age of multitasking, texting, and online shopping, we aren’t used to being patient. Instant gratification is the norm. If we need to make a decision, we have plenty of information at our fingertips.

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  • Shavua Tov: No Despair

    There has been much community conversation about the rise of anti-Semitism as of late. Gann students in 2020 are confronting many more overtly anti-Semitic remarks and acts than I did when we were growing up in the 1980s. From swastikas in Newton, to the derogatory comments Gann students have received about their Kippot, our students face a different and more challenging reality.

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