What have you been up to since graduating Rashi?
After graduating from Rashi, I attended Gann Academy. I just graduated in June. Currently, I’m in Massachusetts recovering from a concussion. As soon as my head is better, I will be leaving for Israel, where I will be taking a gap year at Amudim. Following that, I will be attending Brown University, where I will concentrate in Judaic Studies.
What was your favorite class at Rashi?
I can’t choose just one! A favorite was Social Studies with Mr. Civin. I loved exploring the complexities of history in a welcoming and fun environment. I also loved my science classes with Deb Berlin and Ms. Fine.
What is your favorite Rashi memory?
In Grade 8, Rabbi Clevenger took my grade to the Western Wall during our last Friday night in Israel. As soon as we got to the Wall, my friends and I ran towards a group of what must have been one hundred women singing and dancing joyously in a circle. Immediately, my friends and I were engulfed into the group. We were a part of this group of women from around the world—these people spoke all different languages and were from many different countries. Despite this, we were all Jewish and were all at the Kotel on that Friday night, and that was all that mattered to create a beautiful and joyous moment. This experience captures my Rashi experience: we were supposed to jump into new opportunities with open arms, while also being surrounded by our community and Jewish values. I still think back to this memory fondly. In fact, it is one of the reasons I decided to go to Israel on my gap year!
What is something you have learned at Rashi that has stayed with you since graduating?
At Rashi, there is an emphasis on Tikkun Olam. One year at Rashi, I learned that Pirkei Avot says, “It is not up to you to finish the task, but you are not free to avoid it.” This idea that we can all make a difference in the world was so important at Rashi and continues to be so important to me today. Rashi instilled in me the idea that each person can create real change, and that continues to be present in my everyday life, whether that’s through picking up a piece of trash on a hike in the woods or raising money for a cause I am passionate about.
What was your favorite activity at Rashi?
I adored Student Government! I looked forward to Tuesday lunches, where I’d help plan school dances and speaker events with guidance from the incredible Joni Fishman. I enjoyed Student Government because it was a time for me to socialize, make a real difference in the Rashi community, and learn valuable skills. I specifically remember calling local businesses to ask for a donation of a gift card for the Middle School raffle. Although I was terrified calling people I didn’t know at first, I quickly became confident in my asks and learned outreach skills I use to this day. Student Government was always one of the highlights of my week.
What are you reading/watching/listening to these days?
My reading is currently limited due to my concussion, but I have most recently read Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. I highly recommend it. I’m listening to everything Taylor Swift, especially her new album!