Searching for Home with Judith Rubenstein

12.2.22 | Food for the Soul, News & Events, Volunteer Stories

Meet one of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen’s partners: Judith Rubenstein, a New York City-based artist and volunteer. Judith has partnered with Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen to work with Soup Kitchen guests and other individuals throughout New York City to help them express themselves through art as part of her new project: Searching for Home.  

Judith Rubenstein saw an exhibit by Ted Joans that includes accordion books filled with art from around the world. She loved the idea of art travelling, and that inspired her to create her own project with art from around New York City. 

Judith’s project focuses on unhoused New Yorkers and the idea of Searching for Home, which became the title of her project. With funding from the Puffin Foundation to provide a small stipend all participants, Judith set up stations at local Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries, including Holy Apostles, and asked guests to draw or write in the accordion books, prompting them with the question, “what does home mean to you?”  

The result? Booklets full of thoughts and stories from our unhoused neighbors across New York City. This powerful art represents the diversity of the community of New Yorkers living in shelters and on the streets.  

For guests at Holy Apostles, the act of drawing about homelessness and what home means to them is therapeutic. “It’s like art therapy,” Judith shared. 

When asylum seekers from Venezuela started arriving in New York City in great numbers, Judith saw an opportunity to engage a new community in Searching for Home. At Holy Apostles, Judith collected artwork and writing from these new New Yorkers. Many of these new asylum seekers who had just arrived from Texas after long journeys enjoyed participating, including young children who loved using special markers and paper.  

On a recent cold November day, a crowd was gathered around Judith outside the Soup Kitchen. Guests lined up and sat, a few at a time, drawing in the booklets. Many asked for more pages, excited by their ideas and the ability to share their emotions with a larger audience.  

What’s next for this project? Judith is continuing to fill up several more accordion books with contributions from the most recent asylum seekers. Events are in the works for future pop-up exhibits, where audiences will be able to view these books and contribute to new books.

Sarah Marcantonio

Sarah Marcantonio


Stay current on activity at the Soup Kitchen, guest stories, thoughts from Clergy, news and events.

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more — right to your inbox.

Church of the Holy Apostles

We are an open, inclusive Christian Church celebrating in the Episcopal tradition.

Sunday Service is held 11AM (on site and via livestream). Weekday services are held on Zoom.


For Newcomers

Learn about our faith community and explore ways to connect with our work and worship.


Reflections on Holy Scripture from our Clergy.


Founded in 1844, with a focus on social activism and the desire for social justice.

Clergy, Staff & Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body of the Church of the Holy Apostles.


Music commands a strong presence at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Space Rental

Host your next meeting or event in our landmark building.

Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Nourishing hungry New Yorkers since 1982 in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

Daily meal service

Serving a free, nutritious meal every weekday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meal outreach

Distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

About the soup kitchen

Learn more about our mission, our history, our performance, who we are, and what we do.

Pantry Program

Providing fresh and nutritious groceries to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Sunday Supper

Bridging generations and building community over a monthly family style meal.

Give Layers of Love this Winter

Help Keep Our Guests Warm this Winter.

Social Support

Meeting basic needs, stabilizing lives, and supporting individuals and families to achieve their goals.


Addressing the needs of the whole person through basic needs, counseling, and referrals.


Offering learning and skill-building opportunities.

Community Partnership

Partnering with others to expand the services offered to our guests.

Get Involved

Holy Apostles is a great place to channel your time, talents and generosity for good.


Make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger.


Join our efforts to serve others and provide for people who are vulnerable.


Your gift provides food, community, and hope to New Yorkers in need.

The Latest

Stay up-to-date on all happenings at Holy Apostles.

Food For The Soul

The official blog of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Voices of Our Community

Guest stories, poetry, and more.


See our calendar of events.

Church Pulpit Posts

Read weekly meditations written by our clergy.


Holy Apostles in the news.