The Rampage

Mr. Rapp Goes to Israel

DJ Presser ‘16

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Just weeks before school began, Mr. Rapp sent an email to the student body announcing that he would not be returning this year because he would be making Aliyah. Not only did Mr. Rapp teach many JLT, Economics, and various other senior classes, but he also played an important role for students outside of the classroom.

Mr. Rapp and his wife had been discussing the possibility of moving to Israel, but the actual move hap- pened unexpectedly: “Our conver- sations about moving were all very theoretical. We both had jobs in New York, and I really enjoyed all the classroom teaching I got to do at Ramaz. After Pesach, we decided that we should at least try and see if we could move to Israel. Our criteria were that if I could find a job that would put us in a good place, we should make the move. Both of us did not expect that opportunity to come our way within a couple of months.”

In Israel, Mr. Rapp will be return- ing to the business world, working as the Director of Marketing for a US hedge fund called Exigent Al- ternative Capital, which is based in Israel. This job is similar to the one he held before returning to Ramaz just two years ago. The hedge fund invests in capital markets and private equities. Mr. Rapp will be in charge of managing the fund’s existing client relationships and creating new ones. In addition, he expects to be teaching at one of the American post-high school Yeshiva programs, although he is not sure which one yet.

One of Mr. Rapp’s additional posts was to be in charge of the GO. Rabbi Stochel will be taking over
for Mr. Rapp as faculty advisor to the GO. “Mr. Rapp will be greatly missed as the advisor of GO. There have certainly been some adjust- ments to how we run things logisti- cally, but we hope that the transition from his advising to Rabbi Stochel’s will be smooth,” said President Kelly Sterman ’15.

In addition, Mr. Rapp was also in charge of BIC, Rampo, Model Congress and their publications, as  well as Rambuzz and Ramblings. Each of these clubs was left without an advisor, and needed to look for a teacher to run their club.

Dr. Sclar will be taking over as head of Model Congress. BIC and Rampo are still unsure of which teacher will be leading their respec- tive clubs.

Rabbi Pianko will be taking over Mr. Rapp’s job as head of student activities, in addition to his desk in the SAC. In this role, Rabbi Pianko will be in charge of overseeing all clubs, running Shabbatons, and running programs. Rabbi Pianko has big shoes to fill, but that should not be a problem for him. Beckie

Cohen ’16 expressed the feelings many have, “It’s definitely upsetting that he’s gone, because he was great at what he did and had such a strong connection with many students. Some current sophomores, who were only in school with Mr. Rapp for a year, felt somewhat differently. Jacob Smigel ’17 explained, “[Mr. Rapp leaving] hasn’t effected me very much, but I can tell how it has effected some of my friends who had strong relationships with him and looked forward to his class.”

“[My wife and I] both felt the chance to move to Israel would be an incredible opportunity. We value the sense of consistency we feel as Jewish people in Israel. It is a sense that, in addition to ritual, family traditions, and Torah, our daily lives are deeply connected to our Jewish identity. The events in the news, issues of politics and culture, age-old Halakhic traditions, and Jewish his- tory weave their way into our daily lives in a way that feels closer, more acute, than they would living out- side Israel. This closeness also makes life more challenging as it is shaped by diverse people and policies that we will agree and disagree with. But we hope those challenges will help us form deeper and more thoughtful opinions,” said Mr. Rapp. He added, “It happened quickly, and while I am excited by the opportunity, I am sad to leave the Ramaz classroom. I will miss getting to spend much of my day teaching Ramaz students.”

 

 

 

 

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