A Teacher’s Dream

by | Mar 17, 2016 | Alumni Class Notes, Our Stories, Rashi In the News

“To see your former student all grown, ready to go into a premiere of a documentary in which his talents, spirit, and heart are celebrated was one of those special moments. I stood before the movie poster remembering so many special moments with Lev and his family. Attending the premiere after a very full day at a professional conference gave me time to reflect on the journey of our students and the role we as educators can have.” – Joni Fishman, Dean of Students

The following letter is written by Reid Fishman, ever-dedicated volunteer at The Rashi School and loving husband of Rashi’s Dean of Students, Joni Fishman.


Joni and I privileged to attend the premier of a documentary called “Talent Has Hunger,” about renowned cellist and teacher Paul Katz and his work at the New England Conservatory, training a new generation of cellists. While the subject of the film, by the Oscar-nominated Josh Aronson, are Katz and his students, the essence is the importance of teachers achieving excellence by inspiring their students and enhancing those students’ love of the subject matter, rather than using the harsher approaches practiced by many educators, and shown, in its most vicious form in the 2014 movie, “Whiplash.” If you are interested in music, education in general, and/or you just want to be inspired, you should see this film. You can find a brief review of it here.

Another reason we were so interested in this movie is that one of the students featured in the film is a graduate of The Rashi School, and one of Joni’s former students. Shown at the age of 10 on the poster below (along with Paul Katz), Lev Mamuya attended Rashi and the Roxbury Latin School, and is now enrolled in a joint program at Harvard University and the New England Conservatory. He is a smart, kind, and wonderfully appreciative young man who has already won many awards and has played with Yo-Yo Ma several times, including at the inauguration of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. If you were around Rashi a few years ago, and had the good fortune to attend a Middle School talent show (as I did), you may remember one of Lev’s jaw-droppingly excellent performances.

It was an honor to sit with Lev’s family at the premier, which was followed by a Q&A with Aronson, Katz, and several students. I urge you to see this film, which will be shown another six times at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, before heading out to the film festivals.


Interested in finding out more about Rashi? Learn more about Rashi’s Alumni.