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ELEM at Rashi School: Empowering Students Through Nonprofit Education

By March 12, 2024No Comments

ELEM was honored to be a participant in the Tamchui project at the Rashi School in Boston, MA. For thirty years, this school-wide social justice initiative has taught students about community issues through featured nonprofits. Tamchui empowers students to learn about diverse organizations and even allocate tzedaka funds themselves.

This year, ELEM presented alongside representatives of other impactful nonprofits like OneFamily Fund, the Dream Doctors Project, Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel, and Brothers and Sisters of Israel. 

“ELEM specifically stood out to our class,” reflected one first grade teacher. “Chen Drachman, who led the talk with our students, narrated it so it almost felt like a story as we learned about the organization. ELEM has vans that go out into neighborhoods to consistent check in with young people, building trusting relationships with them over time so they feel safe and secure. Even though we were a Zoom link apart, we felt connected to ELEM.”

In preparing for the presentation, we worked closely with Director of Social Justice Stephanie Rotsky and Social Justice Educator Maria Rosario, who helped us appropriately present ELEM’s work to every grade. Elementary school students connected to the need for all children to feel less lonely, and appreciated our work with kids who might not have a place at home that makes them feel safe. Middle school students explored more in depth topics like homelessness, substance abuse, and depression and anxiety – just some of what our youth in Israel face. 

“We really appreciate you asking some very pointed questions of concern about our students, what they knew about the war in Israel, what would be appropriate to share with them,” Rotsky and Rosario shared in a follow up discussion.” Your concern for our students and your desire to meet them where they were at spoke volumes about the individuals you are and the work you were willing to do to explain your organization in totally new ways to get it “right” for this young audience!”

We were extraordinary impressed with the depth of questions from students, who actively participated at each level, and the  educational, staff, and administrative support at every level of school leadership. We are excited for a continued partnership with the Rashi School, including an upcoming visit this April. 

To learn more about Rashi School’s Tamchui project, read “Celebrating 30 Years of Tamchui.” To book a visit from ELEM or to plan an elementary, middle, or high school talk, contact us