Rachel Lauter

  • Executive Director, Working Washington/ Fair Work Center

  • Former Deputy Chief of Staff to NYC Mayor, Assistant Counsel to NY Governor, and federal law clerk

  • JD, Harvard Law School

From Rachel:

USY taught me about the power and potential of young people and the importance of collective action.  I am a lawyer, advocate, and former government official, and I currently run a non profit that is tackling the income inequality crisis.

I learned some of my earliest organizing and advocacy skills in USY; everything from establishing a vision and goals, and setting agendas, to recruiting members and participants and leading meetings. These were all important skills that I have carried with me throughout my career in government, politics, and advocacy. 

USY confirmed for me that my personal Judaism was inextricably linked to Tikun Olam and social justice work. It has been the throughline of my Jewish identity, and those values were crystalized during my time as a leader in USY. 

And USY exposed me to what Jewish life looks like across America, and the possibility of being Jewish anywhere. I remember davening in Butte, Montana while on USY on Wheels and being acutely aware of the complex dynamics of being a religious minority and also the pride I had in that distinction. 

USY empowers thousands of Jewish teenagers to create exceptional Jewish experiences, yet it can do so much more.   Please consider making a contribution to USY’s annual campaign to ensure that USY has the resources to operate, staff, and expand it’s programs and teach future generations of young Jews the importance of community.

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