Connecting Through Service: A Journey of Impact and Jewish Values

At a Hillel conference, Lucy (she/her) discovered a transformative opportunity that would shape her perspective on service and community connection. Little did she know, this encounter with Repair the World would lead her to a year-long commitment that not only aligned with her Jewish values but also allowed her to make a meaningful impact in her local community.

“Service has always held a significant place in my Judaism. Reflecting on my core value of repairing the world, tikkun olam, as a young professional, I felt a deep sense of responsibility to give back to my community. With time being my most valuable asset, I chose to invest it in service, inviting friends along to join me on this journey.”

Lucy’s introduction to Repair’s Jewish service-learning methodology left a lasting impression. “The thoughtful preparation behind each service activity made it evident that this was more than just a casual project. The impact of service became even more apparent as I served with Miracle Messages, an initiative focused on humanizing individuals in Los Angeles experiencing homelessness,” said Lucy.

Serving as a Repair the World Los Angeles Service Corps member, Lucy had the opportunity to engage in person and conduct outreach at local shelters. Meeting and connecting with neighbors through service was not only rewarding but also a testament to the power of community engagement. Repair’s partnership with organizations like Our Big Kitchen (OBKLA) expanded her network and allowed her to witness Jewish values in action, particularly the value of welcoming the stranger.

“Beyond the immediate impact on the community, service became a key way for me to connect with fellow Jews and Jewish non-profits. The collaborative efforts with Miracle Messages showcased the essence of tikkun olam and emphasized the importance of direct service in effecting positive change.”

While every service experience brought its own set of interactions, one of the most significant moments was engaging with Miracle Messages through outreach. Writing letters to someone in the community who had suffered a stroke was a powerful demonstration of the impact that personal connections can have centering the Jewish value of the preciousness of each human, kavod ha’briyot.

Reflecting on the evolution of her role in service, Lucy began to question not just how she serves but how she can serve in a truly impactful way. The lack of a real connection to nonprofits in Los Angeles was bridged by Repair, opening doors to ongoing opportunities beyond the service corps. This connection proved invaluable in strengthening her commitment to service with organizations she might not have discovered otherwise.

One of the most surprising revelations as a corps member was the diversity of ways Lucy could contribute to service. “From social media support to handling data entry, service takes on various forms, each accessible and impactful in its own way. Integrating these experiences into my role at Hillel, I began to create service projects, mobilizing students and collaborating with organizations like Moishe House to expand the reach of service in our communities,” said Lucy.

“My journey with Repair has been a profound exploration of service, community, and Jewish values. Through direct service and meaningful connections, I have come to understand the true essence of tikkun olam and the powerful impact service can have on both individuals and communities. As I continue to explore ways to bring service into my professional and personal life, I am reminded that service is not a one-size-fits-all but a dynamic, transformative force that can shape lives and communities in unexpected ways.”

Originally from Sacramento, Lucy is a graduate of UC San Diego where she majored in Jewish Studies and minored in Human Rights & Migration. She served in the Repair the World Service Corps in [2022-2023]. She is currently serving in her second year as a Springboard Ezra (Jewish Education Specialist) Fellow at Hillel at UCLA and is a Moishe House Resident. Lucy is very passionate about the intersection of Judaism and social justice, and especially loves bringing Jewish values such as “welcoming the stranger” into everything she does.