End-Of-Year Message 2023

Dear members of the Gann community, 

As we wind down the year, we take tremendous pride in our students’ effort and accomplishments. From the classroom to the soccer field, the black box theater to the newsroom, the Yachad club for disability awareness to the Hebrew Senior Life volunteers, Gann students are engaged, inspired, and giving back to our community. 

This fall, we launched the Jewish Studies and Hebrew Scholars programs with a plethora of new electives such as “The Hebrew Chef,” and “Punks and Rabbis.” Our Shabbatonim, Sukkot, and Chanukah programs were a huge success. As we think about preparing Jewish leaders who will stand up to antisemitism, we continue to nurture our students’ strong Jewish identities. One can not stand up for something one does not feel strongly about. 

And yet, even as we look forward to the break, we are mindful of the continued suffering in Israel. We mourn for all those who have lost their lives and for the families of those who remain in captivity. We think about 23 year-old hostage Hersch Goldberg-Polin, Gann’s beloved 2023 myIsrael Madrich (Counselor), and pray for a safe return for him and all the hostages. 

In response to October 7, we have created a myriad of learning opportunities for our students, including our Limmud “Israel Symposium” this past Tuesday. The excellent programming continues in January when we will host Gann alumni to speak about their experiences on college campuses (January 2) and welcome local Israel expert and Gann parent Dr. Rachel Fish (January 23). 

There is a phrase in Hebrew that I have always liked from the book of Isaiah: Tse be’shalom ve chazor be’shalom. Leave in peace and come back in peace.

Usually, we use this phrase to wish someone a safe voyage. This year, the phrase seems particularly relevant as we close out 2023. May we come back in 2024 to a reality that is both more peaceful and more hopeful. 

Dr. Dalia Hochman 
Head of School 
Gann Academy