Honoring Dena and Michael Rashes

Dena and Michael Rashes have been part of the Rashi community for fifteen years and counting. They have remained committed to providing a rigorous secular education infused with deep Jewish values for their four children. This is their story ...
On Sunday, May 19, the Rashi kehillah (community) will come together to celebrate what makes our school exceptional at the 2019 Annual Dinner. At this festive evening, we will honor current and alumni Rashi parents Dena and Michael Rashes for their invaluable contributions to the community throughout the fifteen years that their four children have attended the K-8 school.
Emma, the eldest Rashes child and now a college sophomore, started Rashi in November of her kindergarten year. She started the school year in the local public school, but it was clear from day one that it was not the right fit. By October, Emma proclaimed at the dinner table, “all I ever wanted my whole life was to be in kindergarten and it’s horrible!”
“We are forever grateful for the sage advice of our dear friend Nancy Zimmerman who insisted we look at Rashi and consider a mid-year transfer,” Dena said, reflecting on that time.
Emma fell in love with Rashi at first sight. She was scheduled to visit Sharon Miller’s kindergarten class for two hours in the week before Thanksgiving. Dena dropped off the enthusiastic five-year-old and returned mid-morning, as instructed, to retrieve her. Emma refused to leave stating, ”I’ve discussed this with Mrs. Miller. Please go grab me a lunch; I will leave at 3 PM when the school day is done.”
Sharon Miller and The Rashi School restored Emma’s passion for a kindergarten education in the span of two hours.
In addition to providing excellent, engaging, and deep secular education, Jewish learning is a joyful part of every day at Rashi. This seamless model, connecting each aspect of the curriculum to the way we live as Jews in the world, really resonated with Dena and Michael. They did not, however, anticipate the outsized impact being a part of this community would have on their family as a whole. Mitzvah Makers, Tamchui, Family Ed programs, Yom Hashoah observances, celebrating holidays and simchas (times of joy), and, at times, dealing with sadness, Rashi provided a beautiful community centered on the importance of tzedakah (justice) and mitzvot (commandments). This kehillah (community) has been a place where Dena, Michael, and their children have grown and learned to be better versions of themselves.
What truly sets Rashi apart from other institutions is its core values. The authenticity with which the school community lives these values is perhaps the part of the Rashi experience that their three Rashi graduates, Emma, Lily and Daniel, miss most. The Rashi School is an exceptional partner in stimulating each student to be academically curious, kind, and passionate. Members of the Rashi community for fifteen years and counting, Hailey will graduate in 2022, the Rashes family wholeheartedly loves The Rashi School!

Get your tickets for the 2019 Annual Dinner.