Title: Program Evaluation Associate
Rachel Brustein is Pilot Light’s Program Evaluation Associate overseeing data collection, analysis, reporting, and evaluation. She supports the Food Education Fellowship, Classroom to Cafeteria, SnackTime Explorers, and Agriculture Education & Advocacy. Rachel is excited about culturally responsive evaluation and participatory based action research.
Previously, Rachel has worked in youth development and informal education, including Eden Village Camp, a Jewish farm camp in the Hudson River Valley. In grad school, Rachel interned with the University of Michigan Program Evaluation Group, where she supported evaluations of a produce access program for Michigan residents on SNAP/EBT and visited grocery stores and farm stands across the state. Rachel graduated from the University of Michigan School of Social Work, where she concentrated in Program Evaluation and Applied Research. She holds a B.A. in sociology from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. She grew up in Rogers Park, loves Chicago neighborhoods and Lake Michigan, and combines data and food outside of work through her ice cream spreadsheet.
Favorite Food Education Standard: FES #1 – Food Connects Us To Each Other.
I love Standard #1 because I find joy in hosting and attending big communal meals and potlucks (especially around Shabbat and Jewish holidays), and baking, cooking, and trying new restaurants with friends. The way food connects us to one another is instrumental for building relationships and I’m excited to connect with the Pilot Light team through food adventures.
A favorite food memory or recipe:
I love the British-Israeli chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi, known for his lengthy, complex recipes. When I lived in Jerusalem, I made the chermoula eggplant with bulgur & yogurt from his and Palestinian chef Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem cookbook using fresh ingredients from the shuk (outdoor marketplace). Ottolenghi’s recipes push me to try new ingredients and have been both communal meal staples and fun friend cooking night experiments.