Noah Hodgetts ’02

“The values I learned at Rashi helped shape my deep-rooted belief in tikkun olamand social justice. Wonderful Rashi teachers, like Stephanie Rotsky, along with my parents instilled these beliefs in me. But, it wasn’t until I was a young adult that I truly saw and understood the great injustices of our world today.

“As a sophomore, I transferred to College of the Atlantic (COA) in Bar Harbor, Maine. Some said I took a risk going to a college focused on human ecology – the relationship between humans and the environment – with only 300 students. But, I knew I would be at home at that school because it embodied values similar to those of Rashi: kehillah (community), tzedek (justice), and making the world a better place for all.

“I graduated from COA in 2010. Despite certain struggles trying to help repair the world through work on several renewable energy projects, I feel more determined than ever to not only continue my dedication to care for our precious environment, but to also make the world just and equitable for all.

“My experiences have taught me that change does not happen easily. But, if we don’t try we will never know what is possible. It is with this optimism that I see hope. It gives me great pleasure to be recognized for my social justice work and dedication to tikkun olam by an institution that epitomizes these values. But, more importantly, this award gives me renewed inspiration to pursue my ideals despite any obstacles.

“Rashi will forever have a very special place in my heart. Without the social justice education rooted in Jewish values that I received at Rashi, I would not be living a life dedicated to repairing the world and social justice today!

“With this strong belief, I embark on the next chapter of my life this fall, combining my passion for cities, specifically Boston, and social justice with my love of learning (another Rashi value) as I begin a Masters Program in Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. I intend to focus on making our cities and surrounding regions more sustainable economically, environmentally, and socially for all.”