Finding Service in Moments of Uncertainty

For Sophie (she/her) the value of repairing the world, tikkun olam, played a key role in her experience as a young Jewish person growing up in Pittsburgh. “I’ve always wanted my Jewishness and my life to be centered around doing something that makes a difference in someone’s life or in my community,” said Sophie. Her service experience with Repair the World began when she was just in high school and a Peer Corps member for two years. When the opportunity rose to continue serving her community, Sophie took it and became a Service Corps member in fall 2020. 

Sophie reflected on what compelled her to continue serving with Repair, sharing that when major events happened that affected her and her community, Repair was present.

Repair has been there in the moments of my life where I’ve felt the most distress and compassion for the things going on in the world and around me. I was serving with Repair when the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue happened, when the pandemic started, and even when I decided to take a gap semester, Repair the World was top of mind for me as a way that I can continue to make a difference and strengthen my community,” said Sophie. “I figured out that Repair the World was the best place for me to do the most meaningful work when feeling uncertain about the world.”

There were several moments of serving with Repair that solidified Sophie’s Jewish value of strengthening members of her community. Serving at  East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM), Sophie interacted with many people. “As a Pittsburgh native, this experience at EECM means I get to meet some of the under-resourced populations in Pittsburgh and I’ve been able to have meaningful interactions with them as a corps member,” said Sophie. “There was a young woman who came in one day and needed diapers and for me that really shines a light on how critical it is to not have access to vital supplies needed to care for families and children. That should not be the case.” 

The role of service has shifted in Sophie’s life since serving as a high schooler. “Service has become something that I want to continue to do for as long as I can. Taking action in my community means so much to me. Service is no longer the thing I was doing because my parents wanted me to. I am committed to this now.”