Amidst a festive dinner and heartfelt speeches, Rashi staff, students, alumni, supporters and community leaders came together to honor Jonny at the school’s Annual Dinner on Sunday, May 19, at the Seaport Hotel Boston.

Jonny Zackman, a resident of West Roxbury, is a mover and shaker with an ever-present passion for supporting community through fostering meaningful connections, creating scalable programs and being a mentor for local youth and peers. In 2023, he co-founded Roundtable with local chef Tracy Chang to convene top chefs, entrepreneurs, industry leaders and community organizers for food-driven events that center on a specific social justice cause. As a part of his love of food and education, Jonny launched a pilot program with the Moses Youth Center to educate youth on cooking skills and grocery budgeting, gaining exposure to job opportunities in the food industry and empowering youth to express their culture through food.

The Tikkun Alum Award, created in 2012, was officially renamed this year in honor of Rashi’s director of social justice, Stephanie Rotsky, who is retiring in June after 36 years with The Rashi School. In his acceptance speech, Jonny noted the impact that Stephanie Rotsky has had upon him. “There is one particular person in this room who has been creating sparks for our Rashi community for years,” said Jonny. “That person is our beloved Stephanie Rotsky. I have a clear memory of Stephanie being up on stage at Tamchui, leading the school in singing ‘This Little Light of Mine.’ This song embodies the nature of my message to you tonight; we all have the ability to repair the world in little ways, and that sums up to something that matters.”

With a recent appointment to the Board of Directors of Project Restore US, Zackman will lead a new initiative to pair the mission of the culinary program with that of Project Restore US.

Jonny is also a supporter of the summer camp experience. After experiencing the death of his dad, Michael, in 2017, Jonny found a way to honor him through their shared love of camp. As a regional advisor and volunteer for Experience Camps, Jonny spreads the mission of ExCamps around the Northeast throughout the year and spends one week each summer in rural Pennsylvania, transforming the lives of grieving children through mentorship, shared experiences and, most importantly, fun.

“The Rashi community taught me that tikkun olam is not defined by the collective nature of the phrase, it’s rather defined by the way in which individuals feel that their human experience is positively impacted by those around them,” stated Zackman. “While many of us enact this definition of tikkun olam in our own ways, the true depth of how impactful your actions can be on others around you is best understood by having a stellar example to follow.”

Zackman serves as a full-time product manager at PlatformQ Health, a digital health company focused on empowering patients and providers to further clinical outcomes through education. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, writing (kids’ book coming soon!), playing for Temple Beth Elohim in the local synagogue softball league and continuing his search for the best fish tacos in the Boston area.

This post has been contributed by a third party. The opinions, facts and any media content are presented solely by the author, and JewishBoston assumes no responsibility for them. Want to add your voice to the conversation? Publish your own post here. MORE