What the See Different Campaign is All About

Jake Rubin ’22

Every year, Ramaz has a theme that connects the school year to the Jewish community and its values. This year, the Ramaz administration chose the theme “See Different,” a reference to the “Think Different” Apple advertisement from the ’80s. The phrase is grammatically incorrect for a reason; it helps illustrate, quite literally, how to see (or think) differently and to take a different approach with our judgement, deliberately using the adjective (instead of adverb) “different” as a meta reference to the theme.

Mr. Rochlin, Head of Institutional Advancement at Ramaz, explained that the goal of the theme is “to unite the community under one vision of a year.” Mr. Rochlin further explained that this year’s goal relates to every year’s theme and each new theme is just a different approach towards that goal of uniting the community under one vision. He referenced the importance of the mission statement here and its relevance to the annual theme. He spoke about the theme as “a way for people to connect to something that unites them.”

The Ramaz Administration goes on a small retreat once a year to brainstorm these topics and to come up with a theme for the year. To introduce it to the school, they also produce a video about the theme to display to the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools at the opening assembly. 

The idea of seeing differently is not just directed towards students; it is also directed towards the faculty and the administration. Mr. Rochlin emphasized how important it is for teachers to see their students differently, and for students to do the same towards their teachers. He mentioned that these themes are about taking the missions from the mission statement and trying to weave them into various ideas. 

Mr. Rochlin also related the theme to the Ramaz Annual Dinner. It’s a great introduction to the show and really shows the audience what Ramaz is about. It’s also a great tool for fundraising for the events, and it’s a fantastic way to unite the year with one goal of bettering ourselves to follow the Ramaz mission statement the best way we can. One example of the fundraising is merchandise that Ramaz sells, such as kippahs and T-shirts, but the main source of fundraising for the school comes from donations which are more often received when a theme like this spreads awareness of Ramaz’s overall goals. The theme also helps market the school, increase admissions, and increase the overall awareness of Ramaz and its values. It provides a way for alumni to connect with one another and integrate the members of the Ramaz community with its values.

The “See Different” theme was, of course, not chosen arbitrarily for this year. This year is 2020, and the See Different theme was based on perfect vision, with 20/20 vision, or with a new perspective on the whole around us. Every year we have an opportunity to better ourselves, and these themes are a great guide for us that help us to focus on the development of specific aspects of our character while also uniting the Ramaz community.