Rachel Rumstein Serves The Moment Through Arts for LA

This article originally appeared in The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles blog on June 13, 2022.

Serving Repair the World as part of the Service Corps has been an invaluable experience for me as a student and young Jewish professional.  For me, the Service Corps has been an enriching, demonstrably symbiotic opportunity for me to serve my community, learn about Jewish non-profit work, build meaningful relationships, cultivate leadership skills, and gain valuable experience as a volunteer.  Throughout my three seasons as a fellow, I could see how my service was directly supporting our partners each and every time I visited my site.

My first placement was with the Met Council in New York City where I assisted the food distribution branch in their Covid-response, supplying desperately needed food and goods to communities across the city.  My second service placement was at Legal Hand, an organization under the Center for Court Innovation.  On-site, I supported visitors applying for aid, referred them to available resources around housing, immigration, and economic justice, and created content for their social media.  As a student interested in policy, government, and social justice, this was a perfect opportunity to exercise my passion and build valuable experience.

Rachel sitting on a bench.

My current Spring service partner is Arts for LA, which informs, engages, and mobilizes individuals and organizations to advocate for access to the arts across all communities; arts education for every student; robust investment in the arts; and inclusion of diverse and underrepresented voices.  While serving remotely, I organized a database of delegates and matched them to their local California State Senators, Assembly members, and District Supervisors, and acted as a community liaison, scheduling lobby meetings between Arts for LA delegates and local and state-level politicians to secure funding for this truly wonderful and necessary cause.  In all of these contexts, I felt my experience of humanity expand and my identity as a justice-seeking Jew strengthen.  I felt my compassion deepen, and my understanding of society and the structures that hold it together unfold.  Above all, the Service Corps gave me the tools to be impactful in an often scary and confusing world.  Especially in times like these.

As a student and young Jewish professional, I am so proud to list Repair the World among the organizations I have worked with as a reflection of my values, passion for service, and desire to surround myself with an equally dedicated community.  In addition to education and mobilization, Repair is incredibly skilled at connecting young Jews devoted to Tikkun Olam.  I felt this so strongly, that after serving for two seasons in New York and moving to Los Angeles, I knew I wanted to serve for another season in LA, where I had yet to find my Jewish community.

As a current fellow, I absolutely love my cohort!  Led by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles/Repair LA, I am a part of a cohort of young adults who are energetic and passionate about service.  It is such an honor to be part of both my local cohort and the broader Repair the World community, and to expand my Jewish community.  I am so grateful to Repair and The Federation for all of their support as a student, volunteer, and emerging leader, and I am so excited to continue to serve and grow within and beyond the movement!