An education at Rashi speaks to a student’s mind, heart, and soul. Our students study Jewish texts, values and concepts in academically rigorous learning environments. There is a strong focus on making “text to self” connections so that students recognize the relevance of Jewish lessons to their everyday lives; we approach Jewish learning as a modern, living subject. Children learn to see the world through a Jewish lens, becoming proud and knowledgeable Jews with strong Jewish identities.
The study of Torah emphasizes interacting with the ancient text and connecting the stories to contemporary issues. We approach Torah as a living document, a foundation for informed questioning that serves as an inspiring resource and a guide for how to live a meaningful life. Students study the Hebrew Bible as well as later Rabbinic texts, often exploring how an idea has developed from Biblical times to today.
The language of the Jewish people is a central component of Jewish identity. Hebrew connects us with prayer (t’fillah), Bible (TaNaKh), and the state of Israel (medinat Yisrael). Our emphasis is on modern Hebrew with exposure to biblical Hebrew.
Many of the Jewish texts that we study were originally written in Hebrew. Drawing from the lessons in modern Hebrew classes, students explore certain words or verses in Hebrew, seeing how the language itself enhances understanding of the text as a whole.
The understanding of prayer and its intention helps students learn about themselves and develop and a common bond with other members of the Jewish community.
Our goal is that prayer (t’fillah) helps connect students to Jewish tradition and enhances their spirituality. Students are encouraged to talk about God and to think about their relationship with the divine. Students learn the words and historical background of prayers while also considering the meaning of the prayers to their own lives. Rashi students participate in youth-centered and often youth-led t’fillah either once or twice a week depending on their age and all of our students end the week with a joyful Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday afternoons.
As a Jewish school, holiday celebrations are part of the cycle of the school year. Both within the classrooms and as a larger school community, the power and excitement of holidays are felt. Holidays give us an opportunity to truly live a life inspired by joyful Judaism. Students look forward to casting bread into the Charles River in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah, shaking the lulav and etrog in the Sukkah on Sukkot, lighting the Chanukah candles for Chanukah, being part of a costume parade on Purim, and many more such joyful representations of Jewish life.
Rashi students develop a deep engagement with Israel through the study of Israeli culture and history. Through our ongoing relationship with the Leo Baeck School in Haifa, our Grade 8 students and their Israeli peers travel and learn together in both Israel and the Boston area. These travels create real and lasting connections between our students and their Israeli peers, and it plants the seed of ahavat Yisrael (love of Israel) within our graduates.
Rabbi Sharon Clevenger joined Rashi more than a decade ago and is Dean of Jewish Learning, overseeing all Jewish studies and Jewish life.
Rabbi Sharon Clevenger
Dean of Jewish Learning