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Words from the Head of School

Word of the Week

List of 1 news stories.

  • Do Better

    I had thought to write this week about the recent publication of A Portrait of Bay Area Jewish Life and Communities, a study of Bay Area Judaism. I had thought to tie that portrait to a hilarious moment I had the good fortune to witness in a 7th grade language arts class, where students guessed that the origin of the line “A plague on both your houses” (from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which they are reading) was either Harry Potter or the Torah. I had thought to write about the idea of a community writing and rewriting itself, and how our Brandeis students are shaping that community and its future in real time...
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2017-2018 Articles

List of 10 news stories.

  • Visible Learning

    Jenny Rinn, Director of Lower School
    Dear Brandeis community,
    When I became director of lower school at Brandeis, I realized that I would experience a learning curve as I assumed a new role in a different educational community. This position would require me to be both leader and learner, and I knew I would need my own teacher for my learning to be purposeful in my leadership...
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  • Soft Skills

    There is a Washington Post education article that has been making the rounds the past month, one that fits within a genre of reportage I think of as, “How to get a job at famous tech company X.” Often there is an element of surprise intended to animate such pieces—i.e., they don’t hire exclusively for coding skills! I have been surprised at how frequently the same truths get trotted out to whirl around Facebook and surprise everyone anew, but perhaps that’s just a commentary on the collective attention span...
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  • Laundry and Lives

    In some ways, what I want to share with you all this week is an extension of what I wrote about last week, in response to Parashat Bo, about the work of not hardening our own hearts, not turning away from injustice. One of the gifts of living and working in the Jewish community is its strong emphasis on lifelong learning, whether that takes the form of new degrees and career paths or the simple act of a group of adults coming together to study (as a crowd of our parents did for our first SEL book club this week, on the work of Julie Lythcott-Haimes)...
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  • My Heart Would Split

    This week’s parashah, Bo, continues the Passover story of the struggle between Moses and Pharaoh over the freedom of the Israelites. It contains scenes and language that are intensely familiar to me (and, statistically, would be to most American Jews, as Passover is the most celebrated holiday in Jewish American life): the demand to "Let My People Go," plagues being called down, the return to negotiations in their wake...
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  • Tomorrow, Tomorrow

    There are moments, as a parent, when I feel as though I’m watching my kids age in real time, when the daisy chain of an interaction goes all stop-motion on me, the clouds of time whisked through an impossibly fast sky. Such moments prompt a preemptive nostalgia in me, and I often find myself sifting through memories of my children in their younger iterations in their wake...
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  • Listing

    I have recently gotten away from the tradition of writing annual year-end “best-of” lists—one that I did in various public formats over a stretch of years—but over the winter holiday I was inspired by a stray tweet by a basketball writer I admire to restart the practice of sharing. So, without further ado and in my own particular order, here are ten books that made memorable dents in my mental space in 2017, each with a brief glimpse into why...
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  • Growing Accustomed

    Yesterday some hundreds of preschool students descended upon Brandeis for our annual Preschool-Middle School Hanukkah Program. As they trooped into the gym hand-in-hand with our middle schoolers, agog at the bigness of those other kids, the space, the day, it was a good reminder to notice the same. It can be easy to lose sight of the scope and the wonder of our world; their wide eyes reasserted the awe of the season...
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  • Closer to the Falling Away

    Yesterday, amid the swirl of digital information that coalesces around me daily, a poem arrived, sent by a dear friend, written by Farid Matuk. The poem, from a longer piece called “For a Daughter/No Address,” begins “like the shapes we made in the things we said were demanding of us / now you ask me why the sky is a tank full of lemonade,” and in just that opener I hear what I admire very much about Matuk’s work, which is his willingness and ability to blend the broadest questions of language and human experience with the most quotidian moments he has as a parent...
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  • Always Near Poets

    A few weeks ago I had Brandeis alumnus, teacher leader, and language arts faculty member Isaac Jacobs-Gomes on the Yudcast with me (Episode 42, “Points of Interest”) to talk about his writing practice and its relationship to his teaching practice. Over the course of the conversation, Isaac mentioned that as part of an interdisciplinary sixth grade project (in which the students were studying both the neuroscience and physiology of memory, as well as considering memory as it related to creative writing), the teaching team had been considering how different kinds of memory function in school...
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  • Infinite Worlds

    This week, I am sharing with you the speech I gave at our Kindergarten Open House last night, on empathy and olam versus olamim. You can find video of the speech here
    Hello and welcome! I greet you tonight at a pivotal moment in your journey as parents, as you consider where to establish a community for your child for the formative educational years of their life. You are here tonight weighing how best to nurture the spirit and possibility contained within your child, this part of yourself who not a blink ago was a baby swaddled in your arms...
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    • Dr. Dan Glass, Head of School

2017-18 Yudcast Episodes

Each week Dr. Glass records Yudcast, a weekly podcast that expands upon his Word of the Week. Click below to listen to the episodes.

Episode 1: "Fanatic Hearts"
Episode 2: "Encased"
Episode 3: "Not in Heaven"
Episode 4: "Processing Units"
Episode 5: "Being and Nothingness"
Episode 6: "Points of Interest"
Episode 7:  "Frames"
Episode 8: "A Work of Art"
Episode 9: "An Age of Questions"
Episode 10: "Always Near Poets"
Episode 11: "Infinite Worlds"
Episode 12: "Radical Empathy and Ethical Leadership"
Episode 13: "Closer to the Falling Away"
Episode 14: "Growing Accustomed"
Episode 15: "Listing"
Episode 16: "Tomorrow, Tomorrow"
Episode 17: "My Heart Would Split"
Episode 18: "Laundry and Lives"
Episode 19: "Visible Learning"

Want to hear the latest Yudcast on the go? Click below to subscribe to Yudcast through iTunes or the Google Play Store: