This is the last in a three-part series that also appears on eJewishPhilanthropy. The interviews were conducted by Abigail Pickus, an Israel-based freelance writer.
Rachel Brody, 26, grew up in Houston, Texas, and received a B.A. from Texas State University and an M.A. from George Mason University. From an early age, she found herself drawn to working with those with special needs. But it wasn’t until her first visit to Israel in 2009 that she realized the intricate connection between her Jewishness and her dedication to inclusion.
Then in her second year of teaching special education in the Metro D.C. area, Rachel joined a pilot cohort of her fellow Teach For America corps members on the REALITY Israel Experience program, which brings a select group of corps members to Israel for 10 days to explore Israel’s education and social justice systems, gain exposure to top Israeli leaders and thinkers, and uncover and recommit to the values that drive their passion for public service. Now in its third year, REALITY Israel Experience is a project of the Schusterman Family Foundation and the Samberg Family Foundation, in partnership with Teach for America.
The trip sparked a transformation in Rachel, inspiring her to further explore the seeds of Jewish knowledge planted during the trip – particularly the concepts of tikkun olam and tzedaka – and to become more engaged with the Jewish community back home. Read More »