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Words from the Head of School

2018-2019 Articles

List of 10 news stories.

  • On Being Student-centered

    In the Mishneh Torah, his twelfth-century treatise on Jewish law, Maimonides wrote that “the teacher should not sit on a chair, while the students sit on the ground. Rather, either everyone should sit on the ground or everyone should sit on chairs.” That was in a chapter on laws of Torah study, and it’s a quote I’ve referred to a great deal over the years. In context, the quote refers to the legibility of teaching—make sure everyone in the room can see and hear one another...
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  • Justices and Injustices

    In lieu of a traditional word of the week, I wanted to share four photographs with you that I shared at our board of trustees meeting Tuesday night. These pictures tell the story of our students playing a game during the second Justice Louis Brandeis Day, our annual celebration of our school’s namesake. As part of teaching our students about what it means to be a citizen of a democracy—the most important office in the land, according to Justice Brandeis—we explored the biblical imperative to pursue justice, and what just and unjust acts look like in our own lives...
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  • How Will You Be Known?

    Last night we hosted an amazing kindergarten open house, thanks to our admissions team and their dedicated crew of parent and student volunteers. In addition to showcasing our awesome faculty, it also featured a Brandeis rap by Alex Fraknoi aka Frak (’08), video of which was shared on our Brandeis Facebook page this morning. What follows is the presentation I gave to the gathered prospective parents, minus the slides. You can see a video which includes the slides here. I hope you enjoy!
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  • Stewards

    This has been a challenging week for all of us in the extended American Jewish community. The events in Pittsburgh last week were terrorizing—they had the effect of reminding many of us of our status as other, as a target. And while the terrible event itself was isolated, it feels as though it comes in the context of great divisiveness and violence across the spectrum of American life...
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  • Almost Organized

    Three years ago at this time of year, I wrote what is still probably my favorite of these many (many! 130 and counting) words of the week. I decided for this week to pull it out and remix it a bit, seeing what of its language and ideas still holds true. I hope you all enjoy.

    I find myself this morning wanting to tell you the story of last Friday, when I went to the Innovative Learning Conference with a mixed group of Brandeis faculty, staff, and parents...
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  • Sacred Space

    Each month, I get a folder of photos from our communications and marketing manager Rachel Freeman (’02), which I pick from to help tell the story of the month that we’ve just had to our board of trustees. I always look forward to opening that folder and scrolling through, seeing students running hard, or brows knitted over a project, or laughing together at play. It is always hard to narrow the list of photos down to a few that I will share, because they speak to so many curious and joyful moments here at Brandeis...
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  • Seven Ways We Learn and Work Together at Brandeis

    Jenny Rinn, Director of Lower School

    During the first week of school, parent Craig Levine came into my office and said, “I just want this year to be a kind year. Because we need it!” His comments resonated with me in light of the work we have been doing over the last 18 months. In collaboration with the Institute for Social Emotional Learning, faculty, staff, parents, and students, we designed a guide to forming a community that is open and inclusive to all. Entitled "Seven Ways We Learn and Work Together," it outlines a pathway to a culture of civil discourse and meaningful relationships based on our Brandeis community values...
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  • The Mirror of Our Regard

    With the High Holidays behind us, we are in a time of resetting—resetting our minds and intentions for the year ahead, and resetting the Torah for another year of reading—turning toward the new, with an eye toward the ancient.
     
    In Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’s weekly drash (interpretation), he shares an account of the first parashah (portion) of the annual Torah cycle that is all about creation and creativity. I was struck by a particular line in it...
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  • I and Thou

    One of my mentors and coaches in the wonderful and challenging work of school leadership is Debbie Freed, an organizational consultant who has been working with heads of school in the Bay Area for more than 25 years. A concept that she has written about is the notion of what she describes as a “fractal”—that any given moment in a school or organization can be seen as a self-replicating pattern, one that expresses a fundamental truth about that organization’s core beliefs and values. It’s an idea that I return to with some frequency with my team, and one that I found myself thinking about this past week...
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  • This Song

    The Glass Household traveled all the way across the Bay for Yom Kippur, to Berkeley’s Urban Adamah. It was a very different experience of Yom Kippur services, for me—being outside, wandering to visit chickens and goats between songs and prayers. At one point, I sat in the space designated for kids with Alma, and we made our own havdallah herb sachets, stuffing rosemary and lavender into small burlap bags. As we did so, I found myself thinking of a line in the draft of our strategic plan, which is nearing completion and will be shared at our town hall meeting in November...
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Archive
    • Dr. Dan Glass, Head of School

2018-19 Yudcast Episodes

December 13, 2018 - "On Being Student-centered"
December 6, 2018 - "Connections"
November 29, 2018 - "Designer Babies"
November 8, 2018 - "How WIll You Be Known?"
November 1, 2018 - "Stewards"
October 25, 2018 - "Almost Organized"
October 18, 2018 - "Sacred Space"
October 11, 2018 - "Seven Ways We Learn and Work Together at Brandeis"
October 4, 2018 - "The Mirror in Our Regard"
September 27, 2018 - "I and Thou"
September 20, 2018 - "This Song"
September 13, 2018 - "Pretend We're Together"
September 6, 2018 - "Archivists"
August 30, 2018 - "Integrity and Awe"











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