… The success of the Rashi School, which today will open its first permanent home in Dedham – a $30 million building that shares a 162-acre campus with Hebrew SeniorLife’s NewBridge on the Charles continuing care community – represents a gradual change in outlook toward religious education among Reform Jews. Over the last generation, Reform Jewish day schools have gained a small but devoted following.
Rashi, which has rented space since its founding in the mid-1980s, has about 300 students in kindergarten through eighth grade and now has room to grow by about 10 percent. Tuition is $19,400 for elementary school and $23,200 for middle school; about one-third of students receive financial aid. The new campus was funded by private donations, including $5 million from Sheldon Adelson, a Dorchester native and self-made billionaire, and his wife, Miriam.
… Rashi’s new 82,000-square-foot school is LEED-certified as a green building, embracing the school’s environmentalist ethic. Its new chapel features a stone wall meant to be reminiscent of the Western Wall in Jerusalem and a historic ark rescued from a former temple in Gardner. Bright classrooms are equipped with computerized “smart boards’’; there is a 6,000-volume library and a large auditorium with state-of-the-art production equipment; a gym; a pair of playgrounds; and playing fields.