Tamchui 2022-23 came to a heartfelt and celebratory close this week with a school-wide assembly. The entire Rashi student body reflected on their new knowledge about women’s health, the war in Ukraine, and healthcare access overall. They learned from and taught their peers, they met with nonprofit representatives who work in this year’s fields of focus, and exercised their ability as independent and critical thinkers to contribute donation chips to the organizations of their choosing.
“Tamchui is a time where everyone cares for each other,” stated Kindergartner Saoirse I., during the very first week of her very first Tamchui.
For many Rashi students, Tamchui is a familiar annual tradition, with the vast majority of our Grade 8 students able to recall their experiences from Lower School through Middle School. They, too, learned from their older peers before they reached the top floor of Rashi, spending their formative years learning about various social justice issues people face in the world before becoming peer mentors themselves.
“I’ve been at Rashi since Kindergarten, so I’ve done Tamchui for nine years,” said eighth grader Lilah G. “I remember the first project I learned about was The Shoe That Grows, and I thought it was so cool that somebody could be so passionate about something that affects so many people, and create a solution.”
Lilah reflected on her time in Lower School: “I remember learning from someone who is now a former Rashi student, and feeling so inspired that someone coming from my school can make such a difference.”
Jacob D. has also been here since Kindergarten, and is now an eighth grader alongside Lilah. The moment he was asked about his nine years of Tamchui, he lit up.
“There was one day that specifically stood out to me, and that was when the rep from The Shoe that Grows came, because I’d never even thought about that problem. I vividly remember where I was sitting in the classroom.”
The Shoe That Grows, as Jacob explained it, is a customized shoe meant for families with growing children that is made with velcro features that allow it to shrink and expand to fit the child over the course of several years.
Both Jacob and Lilah expressed the impact Tamchui has made on them in school and in their personal lives, allowing them to carry their leadership skills and compassion into every facet of their lives.
“Tamchui has affected how I view things in other classes,” said Lilah, “I can take a step back and problem solve when I’m stuck in a pickle. I’ve learned about so many people over the years who have struggled in so many ways, and it helps me realize that I’m not the only one, and that what I may be going through is not as large as it may seem.”
“I think Tamchui is super important because I volunteer with a lot of organizations now outside of school, like New England Disabled Sports and JFS, and I love it and owe that all to Tamchui and learning from a young age how important it is,” added Jacob.
Lilah, Jacob, and their classmate, Gabriella B., looked at what has been almost a decade of Tamchui learning and how the project has evolved over the years.
“I think as time has passed there has become more room for the younger kids to step up and voice their opinions,” Lilah explained, “When I was in Kindergarten, it was a lot of listening and learning, which was great, but now I see younger kids talking about what they love and believe in, and I think that’s so cool!”
“I think the biggest thing that’s changed is how much is up to the students now. We get to have discussions on why we think some things may be more important at the time than others, based on past experiences and lessons,” said Jacob.
Gabriella expressed that she witnessed the power of this year’s Tamchui project, which will be her final one as a Rashi student. “When I left the room after teaching about women’s health, I remember seeing all the smiles on the students’ faces, and them thanking me for the lesson… I think that was super impactful.”