Diana Goldsmith has been an active participant in the greater Baltimore Jewish community her entire life.
An Owings Mills native, Goldsmith, 22, spent three years in HaSTY (Har Sinai Temple Youth) during high school, serving one year as religious cultural vice president and the other as president. She also played an instrumental role in the creation of BEIT-RJ, a Jewish educational initiative for post-bar and bat mitzvah-age students affiliated with the Reform movement.
Since May, the Towson University graduate has put all that experience to good use in her job with Repair the World Baltimore, an organization that works alongside Jewish Volunteer Connection — an agency of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore — to engage young Jewish adults in volunteerism.
As one of two program associates, Goldsmith works closely with many local nonprofit organizations to create service project programs to help raise awareness about education equality and food justice.
How did you end up landing a job with Repair the World Baltimore?
It was a long process, but Repair the World just wanted to make sure it got the right people for the job. I did a phone interview and two in-person interviews, one of which I had to present a volunteer project. The whole process took a couple of months and was very intense. I didn’t hear back for a few weeks, so I didn’t even know if I was going to get the position.
Then, I got hired at the beginning of May, along with my co-worker, Josh Sherman, and started working at the end of that month.
What does your position entail on a daily basis?
Well, it’s a lot of emailing and a lot of meetings. There’s a lot of practical, logistical things I have to do in order to do all the programming we do. We’re always looking forward to our next event and preparing for that. I’m still getting into the groove of figuring out timelines and planning, so it’s just a matter of seeing what needs to get done for our events. I’m in the workshop on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Tuesday, I work from the Park Heights JCC.
I like to joke that Josh and I are two full-time people doing the work of six to eight fellows. Also, the phrase that keeps coming up is that this is a ‘launch and learn,’ meaning we’re experimenting with this new program to play with and figure which things do and don’t work.
What are your long-term plans?
I’ll be with Repair the World for the foreseeable future. This opportunity is really great, and I’m lucky to have it. I’m also considering graduate school for international development at some point, which I think will be really useful for the work I’m doing now in terms of community development. Learning more about ethical and sustainable volunteering is really where my heart lies. I really like doing this work locally, but my education and passion lie internationally.
Traveling is high on my list, which is why international issues are at the top of the list for me. America is great and all, but I want to see more of the world. We have such an opportunity in the modern world to be able to literally access the entire world online and physically, so I’d love to do some more traveling.
How do you like to spend your spare time?
Something I’ve been doing the last five years is acting on Urban Pirates, which is an interactive, hour-long adventure cruise with games, songs and a hunt for stolen treasure on a ship downtown. People ask me all the time since I am now more focused in nonprofit work and volunteering, ‘Oh, you used to do acting?’ And I like to say that I still do acting, because I have Urban Pirates, which is a great outlet for me to act all the time.
I mean, what other job can you dress up as a pirate every day? I loved playing dress-up as a kid. Now, I get to play dress-up all the time and go and play this character, Ruthless Ruthie, so it’s good to have something fun to do on the side. It’s so much more than an acting job, because I have to be able to think on my feet and don’t care what people think, which helps me in all aspects of my life.