Farewell to Rabbi Stavsky

Farewell+to+Rabbi+Stavsky

Romi Chaovat ’24

A beloved member of our community, a respected teacher, and one of Ramaz’s wisest rabbis, Rabbi Stavsky is making a journey that many Jews can only dream of. He’s taking a flight, not for a vacation with a duration of only a week or a month, but for the indefinite future. He is moving to Israel! For the students that never had the privilege of having Rabbi Stavsky as a teacher, there is a lot that will be missed about him. Every year one class of keen-eyed talmudic freshmen gets the pleasure of learning how to decipher Aramaic text with this Rabbi. But not only that, Rabbi Stavsky is a twofold teacher. Not only does he teach Talmud, but also Tanach. This past year, one lucky advanced sophomore Tanach class got the pleasure to learn about Bnei Israel’s pioneering journey that returned them to the very land Rabbi Stavsky is going to. Through his never-ending shtiging to his liveliness in the classroom, it seems there is never a dull moment in any one of his classes. 

Just like Rabbi Stavsky taught in his Tanach classes, he is making a trek to the land that the Jews, for generations, have attempted to go to. From the first exile of Yehocanam to the second of Tzidkiyahu, the Jews have struggled to stay and thrive in Israel. These days in Israel, there is a colorful, growing, and thriving community of all races, cultures, and religions. It is the perfect time for Jews that feel a connection and have always dreamed of living in Israel to migrate there. When Rabbi Stavsky was asked why he decided to make this life-changing move, he answered contently, “Our orientation had always been towards eventually being in Israel. We didn’t know exactly when but it’s always been in the back of our minds.“ After thinking about it for a while, Rabbi Stavsky and his family made the final decision of “We are moving to Israel.” He explained that the time was right for him and his whole family and that everything, at this moment, was pointing toward Israel. 

Rabbi Stavsky has been a beloved member of the Ramaz community for eleven years. Year after year, he taught new students, he has seen students graduate, and simply, like every student and faculty member at Ramaz, has grown to love this school. 

Like Rabbi Stavsky explained bitter-sweetly, “I hope it will be amazing there also, but I’m going to miss the students, I’m gonna miss being in the classroom, I’m going to miss my colleagues and the faculty. I really have wonderful relationships here in school.” Luckily, Rabbi Stavsky still hopes to continue teaching in Israel and continue to inspire Jewish kids to grow a love for Judaism but will hold on to his fond memories at Ramaz. He should know the Ramaz students will definitely do the same.

For the students at Ramaz, the feeling is most definitely mutual. There is no doubt that at least one student in every classroom has one fond memory of Rabbi Stavsky. Whether it is his warm, smiley greeting every time a student walks into his class or his deeply apparent passion for what he teaches, students always appreciate the joy in his class. One of his students this year, sophomore Emy Khodorkovshy ‘24, warmly summed Rabbi Stavsky up in a couple of heartfelt sentences. He said, “Rabbi Stavsky made the room light up every time he walked in it. We are always happy to see him walk in with a big smile and a great warm “Rabbotai! Rabbotai! And shtiging away.” This description expresses the exact feeling of Rabbi Stavsky’s class to the point, joyful conversation and rabbinic discussion which will be missed by the whole Ramaz community, as they wish him well in his journey to Eretz Yisrael.