Week 3 of Rashi’s Tamchui (Aramaic for “community collection pot”) project began with great enthusiasm and a deep understanding of the previous two weeks: education week and meet the reps week. Lower School students have been taught by their Middle School peers about three social justice issues—access to healthcare, Ukrainian refugees, and women’s health—and the whole student body met with representatives from six organizations involved in these particular fields (Laughing at my Nightmare, Chiricahua Health Centers, FRD, Ukraine TrustChain, Bishvilaych, and Healthcare Without Walls). Now, Rashi students are focusing on which of these organizations to support with their “chips.” “Each donation chip equals money, it’s like a symbol,” explained 2nd grader Brynn B. “I donated to Chiricahua, because there’s lots of people who are sick or hurt…and they sometimes can’t get to a doctor.” Grades Pre-K – 5 gathered in the Sukkat Shalom to donate their chips as a class. They also reviewed the previous weeks’ lessons—matching organizations to their missions, recalling the methods enacted in their work, and relaying why these approaches are important and helpful. “I donated to FRD to help Ukrainian war refugees, because people who don’t have homes anymore are getting new homes and are able to go to school again,” said 2nd grader Jordan Z. “I get an allowance, and I’m going to bring it in to donate as well!” a 5th grader eagerly explained.
In Middle School, 6th graders arrived at their advisories on Tuesday abuzz with excitement as they were handed their chips. They knew exactly to whom they wanted to donate after their weeks of learning. “I chose Ukraine TrustChain because I really care about the war and it makes me happy to see that people are actively doing something,” said Daphne S. “[I donated to] Laughing at my Nightmare because when I was younger, I had a disabled friend and it was very hard for him,” said another 6th grader. Students illustrated their passion for these initiatives and nonprofits by completing a series of paper murals. Each morning came with grade-level prompts to reflect on while adding to the murals, which have been hung around the school on display. “We wrote on the murals that had different questions about the Tamchui organizations,” said Jordan. “One of them was ‘what does every person need to live’.”
As donation week closes, we are able to see the results of three incredible weeks of compassionate learning. Murals line the halls with the thoughts of students on every floor, donation jars are filled with chips, and the Rashi community is able to come together for a shared mission of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). Next week, as students get ready for February break, the entire school will enjoy a closing celebration of Tamchui 2022-23, sharing how much was donated by the community to the six organizations and the impact each week has had on our students’ sense of justice and leadership.