The Tikkun Alum Award was created in 2012 to celebrate Rashi alumni who demonstrate a strong commitment to social justice. During a touching and heartfelt speech, Zoe Jick recalled how, in second grade, she realized that “social justice doesn’t have to be an extra-curricular” activity, and that doing good in the world can just be part of the fabric of our everyday lives.
Growing up in Brookline and Newton, Zoe attended The Rashi School and Milton Academy. She was, from a very early age, immersed in the social justice program at Rashi and showed a strong commitment to embody the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world). Zoe notes the importance of using Jewish texts as inspiration in her efforts to improve the world and promote social justice activities. As she also stated, “It is only through knowing our tradition that we can be prepared to shape our future.”
Currently Zoe is the associate director of Jewish content at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Palo Alto, Calif. Her work at the JCC allows her to strengthen all things “Jewish” that the JCC does, which to Zoe means richer Jewish text study, deeper engagement with Israel and more sustainable efforts for social justice. In 2016, after three years of full-time Torah study at various institutions, Zoe moved to Israel and began her work at BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change. There, she founded Beit Midrash TLV, the first-ever full-time program for secular Jewish learning in English. Zoe understands that Israeli secular Judaism has a lot to teach the American Jewish community about how to be a learned and identified Jew while also not being traditionally observant. After three years at BINA, she decided to come back to America in order to translate these experiences to her home turf. The OFJCC and BINA teamed up to create Zoe’s position.
Zoe studied religion at Wesleyan University and earned a master’s in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and a member of the Schusterman Foundation’s ROI community. She is an alumna of many immersive Israel and Jewish learning programs, including NFTY’s EIE, Kivunim, Pardes and Yeshivat Hadar. Zoe is proud to teach for BBYO, Moishe House, HillelU and the Wexner Service Corps.
In the fall, Zoe will spend an entire day at Rashi, sharing her experiences with students and the ways in which Rashi social justice initiatives and Jewish studies curriculum shaped her own directions and pursuits.
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