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Words from the Head of School

2018-2019 Articles

List of 10 news stories.

  • Joy

    I wanted to share with all of you the words I’ll be sharing with our rising middle schoolers tonight at All About Middle School, a celebration of late childhood and early adolescence, still my favorite ages and stages as an educator. Enjoy!

    I want to begin by acknowledging that middle school is a vulnerable time...
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  • A Note of Appreciation

    Welcome back! I am always struck by the degree to which returning back to Brandeis following a break—winter, spring, or summer—is such a joyful experience. The first day back is filled with happy kids tumbling into classrooms, eager to share stories of family adventures and puzzles and board games, and the parents glad to see one another and to get back to routines. For the professional community it’s much the same—I have never been part of a school community that shared so many hugs after just a short time apart!
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  • 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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  • Connections

    There is something about rain gear on preschoolers that is so redolent of childhood. Yesterday Brandeis was overtaken by tiny galoshes and yellow raincoats, as the several hundred little people who were dry behind those layers of rubber trooped into our school for a date with our middle schoolers at our annual preschool Hanukkah party. Seeing all those bright boots and flushed cheeks took me back so immediately to my own memories of jumping in puddles on Spaulding Avenue in Berkeley, feeling invincible even as the water leapt to all the permeable cottons and invariably left me soaked...
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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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    • Dr. Dan Glass, Head of School

2018-19 Yudcast Episodes

February 14, 2019 - "The Brotherhood Way Community"
February 7, 2019 - "Notes from a Championship"
January 31, 2019 - "I Will Hear You Getting Better"
January 24, 2019 - "A Silver Morning Like Any Other"
December 20, 2018 - "Listing 2018"
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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