MISSION & CORE VALUES
The mission of The Rashi School is to provide a dynamic, child-centered program of academic excellence that integrates rich secular and Jewish studies curricula and nurtures in its students’ critical minds and compassionate hearts.
The modern Jewish world is often spoken of as a mosaic. Jews come from every country, speak a myriad of languages, represent many cultures, and are Sephardi, Ashkenazi and more. We represent all ethnic, racial and gender identities, as well as a wide range of socioeconomic strata. We are Jews by birth or adoption (sometimes called Jews by chance), and Jews by choice. We are Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist and unaffiliated Jews. We are non-Jews partnered with Jews and raising Jewish children. At The Rashi School, we celebrate that mosaic and actively work to cultivate a student population that reflects the richness and diversity of the Greater Boston Jewish community. We are a welcoming and inclusive community that truly sees the value in all people. We seek opportunities to engage with students from other schools—Jewish and non-Jewish—to help expand our worldview and deepen student learning. Rashi’s faculty and staff represent a range of religions and backgrounds and contribute to that learning as well.
As the only Reform Jewish Independent School for Grades K-8 in New England, The Rashi School follows the principles and practices of Reform Judaism, but never to the exclusion of students and families from other Jewish movements or backgrounds. At the core of Reform Judaism is “informed choice,” meaning that we honor the mitzvot, commandments of the Torah and other Jewish sources and we build our Jewish practice through experience and study. Reform Judaism recognizes that some rituals, actions or beliefs may not ultimately fit within a person’s zone of Jewish comfort and meaning. Rashi supports the right of all of the members of our mosaic to make informed choices about their Jewish practice, and we honor those choices.
In order to better reflect the diversity of gender expressions in our community, Rashi uses B’mitzvah to describe the Jewish coming-of-age ritual for children around the age of 13. While we previously used the binary terms bar and bat mitzvah, B’mitzvah places the emphasis squarely on the mitzvah, and takes it off of the gender of the child. In using B’mitzvah, Rashi is in alignment with several of our partner Reform congregations in the area, and we anticipate that other synagogues will adjust their language in the future as well.
Rashi’s Core Values
We see it in the classroom, as teachers value and encourage students to bring their whole selves. We experience it outside the school walls, when Rashi families and students march in the Pride Parade or volunteer as a community on MLK Day. We see it in our alumni, who flourish at the top high schools and colleges. We hear it in Kabbalat Shabbat, when Middle Schoolers share a portion from the Torah.
The Rashi School provides students with the confidence and trust they need to be curious, probing, and intellectually driven. Our faculty are collaborative and innovative, expertly weaving Jewish and secular studies together and utilizing differentiated instruction to address each child’s needs. Rashi students love to learn and ask big questions. Our goal is for every student to become a lifelong learner and be motivated to reach their highest potential, academically and otherwise.
From learning about immigration and racism to advocating for the planet and those who are underprivileged and underserved, social justice is a founding principle of The Rashi School, embedded in the fabric of our curriculum. We uphold it as an academic endeavor from the moment our Kindergartners enter the building until the day our Grade 8 students graduate. Social justice stays with our students their entire lives and becomes part of their heart.
In joining the Rashi community, your family and child will be connected to peers, teachers, the local community, and Israel. Students understand that their actions as individuals impact others. They learn it in the classrooms, on the playing field, and on the stage. Single parents, LGBTQ families, and people of color are integral to our community. Our families reside in more than 25 towns and cities in the greater Boston area; 20% of our families are interfaith or multicultural; many children speak Hebrew, Spanish, or Russian as an additional language in their home.
Rashi students live this value everyday, with the understanding that kavod is about our individual and collective behavior. We believe that each person deserves to be treated with dignity regardless of age, background or experience. Kavod is about our relationships with others: listening, appreciating diverse opinions, and learning to disagree without anger. At Rashi, there are many ways this value appears in our school, from the absence of locks on the lockers to the civil, thoughtful debates of Middle School.
Ruach is infused into each classroom, into the curriculum, and into the connections that people make with one another during each day. All of our actions are infused with an awareness of our relationships with each other and our place in the world community. We acknowledge and value the divine spark in each of us.