Pictured: Rayne and her dad (Dr. Scott Phillips) visiting Israel for her Bat Mitzvah in 2022.
Mitzvah Mensch, Rayne, Interviews Veterans at Selfhelp
Bat Mitzvah Date: June 2022
Meet Selfhelp’s newest Mitzvah Mensch, Rayne! Rayne is 14 years old and the middle child of three sisters. She had the honor of experiencing her Bat Mitzvah in Israel last year and was looking for a place to do her Mitzvah project here in the United States.
Rayne’s mother, Lynn, adds: “She didn’t feel like going to Sunday school anymore, so I suggested she find somewhere special to volunteer her time instead.”
As a member of the Emanuel Congregation in Chicago, Rayne already had a personal connection with The Selfhelp Home and Jessica Katz, our Resident Services and Community Outreach Manager. It was through Jessica that Rayne learned about The Mitzvah Mensch program. Also, Rayne’s father, Dr. Scott Phillips, works as a dermatologist in many independent and assisted living communities – including Selfhelp!
For Rayne’s Mitzvah project, she interviewed and photographed veterans who live at Selfhelp. On Sunday mornings, she has been a friendly visitor to our residents who kindly welcome her into their apartments to chat and get to know each other.
“I had heard that veterans lived at Selfhelp, so I wanted to learn more about that. I wanted to understand how people were able to thrive in their lives despite having to deal with atrocities and horrible wars.” – Rayne
Rayne’s favorite part about volunteering at Selfhelp is getting to know the residents. She’s enjoyed hearing their amazing life stories, many of which include heroic tales of escaping from Nazi Germany. Rayne also liked learning about our residents’ hobbies and interests. Fun Fact: Rayne discovered she shares her love for chocolate with Selfhelp residents Vera and Anna!
“Rayne’s heart overflows with goodness and kindness. She is always so warm and helpful. She sees people as B’tzelem Elohim-created in the divine image, and by supporting those who need a hand, she is doing God’s work in the world. I couldn’t be prouder of her!” – Cantor Michelle Drucker Friedman, Emanuel Congregation
Outside of working hard in school, Rayne stays very active with modern dance, ballet and water polo. She also swims competitively for Stanton Park and loves to read. Her mom Lynn says Rayne is an excellent Euchre player, a skill her daughter has sharpened through many summers at Camp Chi.
Rayne plans to continue visiting Selfhelp and plans to come and play cards with residents in the Bensinger room.
Final thoughts from Rayne on her experience volunteering at Selfhelp:
“I look forward to helping my younger sister through the Bat Mitzvah process when she becomes old enough. I want to bring her to Selfhelp, I think she would really like it!” – Rayne
Interested in becoming a Mitzvah Mensch at The Selfhelp Home?