HMFH Architects

The Rashi School

Dedham, MA

More than a home for Rashi students, this new K-8 school is a center for multi-generational programming that integrates secular learning with a rich Jewish studies curriculum. Located on an extraordinary riverfront site shared with the Hebrew SeniorLife retirement community, the school’s design embodies the school’s core values of learning, community, respect, and spirit.

Creating a welcoming facility for the Rashi School, its first permanent home since the school's founding in 1986, was a very fulfilling experience. The new building is a physical manifestation of the school's values: cultural heritage, intergenerational learning and relationships, integrating secular and religious life, and sustainability.

Laura Wernick, FAIA Senior Principal, HMFH Architects
  • Students 300
  • Grades K-8
  • Size 82,000 ft2

The building is inspirational, beautiful, and well-designed…you have translated our hopes into reality beautifully and economically.

JANET F. ASERKOFFRashi School Building Committee

After more than two decades in makeshift space, the Rashi School turned to HMFH to create a permanent home that celebrates community, interconnectedness and sustainability. Designed to meet LEED Silver criteria, the building responds to its extraordinary riverfront site by incorporating the site’s natural amphitheater and adding paths through the wetland to serve as an outdoor learning lab. Nature is welcomed into the school by incorporating internal transparency, clerestory windows, and daylighting. The inter-generational campus is shared with the Hebrew SeniorLife retirement community and the school is designed to host functions for adult community members as well as students.


The K-8 school is anchored by a range of ceremonial and celebratory spaces along a bright day-lit central spine, including the Sukkot Shalom and gallery along the main corridor, the 80-seat Beit Midrash for prayer and study, a 415-seat auditorium, as well as a cafeteria and full-size gymnasium. Two classroom wings, radiate from either end and contain a mix of standard classrooms, small group break-out rooms, Hebrew study rooms and offices. Double-height music and science classrooms bracket the top floor, while the second floor contains a light-filled art studio and 10,000-volume library with a story nook and wireless network.

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