Rappaport obtained an American visa and went to Seattle in 1938 to live with her uncle, Carl Rubinstein. She graduated from Broadway High School, joined Junior Hadassah, and became an editor of Seattle's Jewish Transcript. She also worked for the Zionist Organization of American chapter in San Francisco. In 1948, she lived in Jerusalem and worked briefly as a photographer for Acme News, then became a photograph archivist for the Foreign Press Office of the new state of Israel in Tel Aviv until the end of 1949. She then moved to New York and worked for lawyer Max Lowenthal and assisted him with the publication of his book, The Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1950. She moved to Berkeley in 1951 and earned her undergraduate degree in sociology and her master's degree in librarianship from the University of California. In 1959 she began working for the U. S. Air Force, and as such managed a library at Naha Air Base in Okinawa. In 1963, she began managing the military libraries in Saigon for the U. S. Navy, agreeing to do so only if there would be no censorship. In 1966 the U. S. Army took over those libraries, but Rappaport stayed. While in Vietnam she supervised the library system as it grew from a few books to 39 branch libraries and 117 field collections. Rappaport quit her position with the Army in 1970.