Word of the Week Archives


  • May

    Gratitude :: Success

    It is hard to believe, but we are winding to the end of this school year—this is one of the final few words of the week I will write and share before we scatter to the summer like sunbeams in fog...
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  • How is Your Spiritual Practice?

    I’ve written before that one of the unanticipated pleasures of this work is the time I get to spend with rabbis, both those who have children at Brandeis and others in the community. This week, I was speaking with Rabbi Darren Kleinberg, head of school at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, as part of a regular check-in we do together...
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  • March

    Joyful Transmitters

    I have gotten a few requests to share here in the Word of the Week the remarks I offered at our Grandparents and Special Friends Day last Friday, so I have included them below. This week turned out to be a good one during which to reflect on that event, as there was an article in eJewish Philanthropy about the first national study of Jewish grandparents...
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  • Community – Connection – Challenging Success

    This bronchial virus that has been making its unpleasant way through the community (and the Glass household, alas) has finally landed on my unlucky head, and I write this morning from bed. But I am taking a cue from our youngest, Lucia, who is full of the light of her name and smiling ear to ear even as she coughs and drips her way through the day. So, with that spirit in mind, I wanted to share three standout moments from the week we’ve shared at Brandeis...
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  • Awestruck

    Last week, Sandee Bisson shared an article with Nicholas Cole-Farrell and me, entitled “Why Scientists Say Experiencing Awe Can Help You Live Your Best Life.” In it, psychologists and researchers share their work on how the feeling of awe can boost health, wellbeing, and our capacity to connect to other people. Sandee was excited, as were we, because awe is central to our work in the CREATE and BUILD spaces (the A in CREATE stands for “Awe,” in fact), rooted in Rabbi Heschel’s description of awe as that which reminds us that life takes place under wide horizons...
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  • February

    Portrait of the Graduate as a Young Mensch

    Just a brief anecdote from me this week, from my evening last night, one that sums up, I think, so much of why we do what we do here at Brandeis.
    We are in the midst of admissions season, and as such are hosting gatherings for prospective parents at the homes of current parents. Last night we had one such gathering, and in addition to a houseful of prospective families, we were joined by a pair of recent Brandeis alumnae...
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  • Every Word a Name

    I had the great good fortune to spend the long weekend in Oaxaca, Mexico, on a mole-making and mezcal-tasting trip to celebrate my father’s 70th birthday. And while it was a wonderful trip, filled with colors and flavors and learning and time together, I found myself contemplating something unexpected: the names of God...
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  • January


    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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