Liza Comart (Rashi ’06) recently spent a day at The Rashi School where she met with students and faculty to discuss her work with refugees in Greece. A 2006 graduate of The Rashi School, Liza was honored with the Tikkun Alum Award in 2018. Up until July 2018, Liza worked at PIKPA Camp, an independent open refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos. She collaborated in the development of a forest-based kindergarten program that integrates the refugees at the camp with local Greek children. As a full-time volunteer, Liza worked with vulnerable asylum seekers, including families, pregnant women, and people with developmental disabilities, most of whom have extensive histories of trauma. During the course of the year, Liza worked closely with Lesvos Solidarity, a Greek NGO supporting refugees and locals in Lesvos and Mikros Dounias, a non-profit educational project.
Liza met with each of the K-8 classes, sharing her experience working with children in the refugee camps. She also discussed how Rashi’s fully integrated social justice initiatives shaped her personal and professional life. The students were captivated by Liza’s presentations and, even more importantly, deeply affected by the fact that she is making a real difference in the world. As sixth grade student Ben Myers noted, “Seeing Liza, you could tell she was confident and determined to do good in the world. This made me feel that I want to do that as well.”
After her visit, Liza shared these thoughts with us.
The Tikkun Alum Award was created in 2012 to celebrate Rashi alumni who demonstrate a strong commitment to social justice and tikkun olam (repairing the world) in their lives beyond Rashi. Through personal and professional efforts, Tikkun Alums embody the values of social justice that were instilled in them as Rashi students. It was a special day for Liza as well as the students and teachers. Sixth grade student Ali Fransblow was moved by Liza’s actions. “It was very inspiring to see someone like Liza do something about a problem in the world, especially at her age. She stuck with her dreams instead of thinking about a dream and then forgetting to make it happen.”
Liza grew up in West Roxbury, received a BA from Occidental College and is currently getting a Doctorate in Psychology at Rutgers University. Prior to working at the Childhood Refugee Program in Greece, Liza was the Administrative Coordinator for Training and Educational Services at McClean Hospital.