Chag Sameach : Passover Message 2023

Dear members of the Gann community, 

As we prepare to gather with our friends and families tomorrow night, many of us will do so with a heavy heart. Spring has tentatively arrived here in Boston, yet it is hard to feel ready to fully celebrate the Feast of Freedom. Some will set an extra chair at our table for those still held hostage; this year, we bring a new understanding of slavery to our Seder. We will retell the Exodus story, feeling the weight of its complexities; even a just war inevitably brings suffering.

Yet, for those of us who have the privilege of spending our days around young people, we find reasons not to despair. At a school like Gann, we are blessed to witness so many moments of hope. Our students and staff have hosted dozens of speakers to help students make sense of the complexity of current events. Students have initiated new Tzedakah projects, raising funds and advocating for a host of causes. This fall, we established ‘Bayit @Gann,’ a school-within-a-school designed to support displaced Israeli students. It provided a safe and nurturing environment where students could continue their academic studies and receive social-emotional care during a tumultuous time.

Our classrooms buzz with the palpable joy of learning and questioning, across both general and Jewish studies. Last week, the 9th grade hosted a Passover Fair where each student delved into significant questions about the Seder and its rituals, bringing ancient dilemmas into modern relevance. At times when we as adults may flounder, our students uplift us with their spirit, their creativity, their inquiries, and their hope.

This Passover, we hope you find moments of joy and inspiration amidst the many heavy questions we will bring to our Seder. We are deeply grateful that you are part of our Gann community. At its core, our school stands as a beacon of hope. 

Chag Sameach, 

Dalia Hochman