Critical Minds, Compassionate Hearts

Becki Steinberg '05

2014 Honoree
Becki graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, College of Arts and Sciences in Philadelphia, PA in May of 2013.  She graduated with a major in Communication & Public Service and a minor in Hispanic Studies and Creative Writing.  She also attended the Universidad de Sevilla, Spain from Sept. 2011 – Dec. 2011 for her Semester Study Abroad Seville.  There, she lived with a Spanish family and received instruction entirely in Spanish.  She was the Associate Editor, K-O News at Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford, CT.

She is the recipient of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Annual Scholarship April 2012 and was on the United States Tennis Association National Junior Tennis League Chapter of the Year Oct. 2010. 

"I can’t think about my eight years at Rashi without first thinking about social justice, a value that suffused almost every lesson of every day. Between visiting patients at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and literally counting down to each year’s unveiling of the annual Tamchui recipients, at Rashi I came to understand that repairing the world was intrinsically tied to being a Jew.

"Once I graduated from Rashi, this dedication to tikkun olam influenced me to launch RALLY: Racquet and Literacy League for Youth, a non-profit initiative to teach tennis and reading to inner-city children. Having just completed its seventh year of operation, RALLY has served a total of 75 elementary-school students with a staff of more than a dozen high-school volunteers. As I begin law school this fall, I know that my commitment to tikkun olam, first developed at Rashi, will continue to influence me, as I plan to make pro-bono work an integral part of my legal career.

"At the same time, my years at Rashi also provided me with a lasting connection to my own Jewish identity. Whether my friends and I were singing ourselves hoarse at Kabbalat Shabbat or performing in our eighth-grade Hebrew play, I grew up associating Judaism with spirit, meaning and fun. This love of Judaism guided me as I decided to attend the University of Pennsylvania, a college characterized by vibrant Jewish life. This love of Judaism guided me as I assumed leadership roles within the Jewish Renaissance at Penn, an organization that seeks to build community among Jewish students. And one day, I know, this love of Judaism will guide me to create a life based on the Jewish values I learned at Rashi with my own family.

"Finally, and perhaps most importantly, nestled within Rashi’s warm community of nurturing teachers and close-knit students, I believe I gained an invaluable sense of self. Every student was unique, we learned at Rashi, with his or her own strengths that deserved to be cultivated. Because of this confidence I developed at Rashi, I’ve always felt able to tackle new challenges with strength and self-possession. Every time I've faced an unfamiliar, even daunting situation since Rashi — the start of high school, college, and most recently, law school at NYU — I’ve felt so grateful to have a strong sense of my own identity. Thanks largely to Rashi, I’ve always understood exactly where I come from and who I am."
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