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At Rashi, we repeatedly hear from parents and alumni that a Rashi graduate is keenly aware of both their responsibility to repair the world and their agency to do so. Messages of social justice and lessons requiring the critical thinking skills necessary to compassionately understand multiple perspectives are integrated into lessons across all of our curricular areas. Rashi also believes in the value of learning from one’s peers. This is why the Tikkun Alum Award is such a great honor to receive and it is also why Tikkun Alum Day is such a special time in our building.
On Friday, January 20, our 2016 Tikkun Alum honoree Adam Lassman met with Rashi students to share how he started his charitable organization, The Pink Seat Project, and how his time as a student at the school inspired him to find the place where his personal interests, skills, and concerns intersected to do good in the world. “Hopefully this day had as much of an impact on the students as it did on me,” Adam wrote in an email reflecting on the day. “Giving alumni the chance to come back to share the work they are doing only to see that the same energy that existed when we were students is still there to the kids today is exciting and incredible to see.”
Rashi’s Tikkun Alum program serves a few purposes. First, we are immensely proud of our alumni and giving this annual award provides us an opportunity to spread a little nachas (pride) about the work that our former students are engaged in after they part from our walls. Secondly, the school is committed to creating a community for our alumni and use the Tikkun Alum award as a way to help other Rashi graduates keep in touch with each other. Alumni are encouraged to nominate each other which serves as a way for them to support and celebrate each other’s achievements. Third, these alumni serve as an example for what our current students could achieve in their own lives – the benefits of which are twofold. A student might imagine how he or she will one day heal a piece of their world; a teacher might glimpse into the future of their own students by reconnecting with an alumnus or alumna as an adult – one who, not so long ago, was a student in their class.
“It is rare in a person’s life to be able to speak to so many young people about something you care about as much as I do about both The Rashi School and the Pink Seat Project and to have my words accepted with such enthusiasm,” Adam said. “Tikkun Alum Day is as motivating for us as alumni as it is for the kids.”