The Do-ers

Young Jews Working For Change

By Anne Cohen

Published June 30, 2014, issue of July 04, 2014.
Kurt Hoffman

We’re often told what we young Jews don’t do.

We talk about the environment, but still plug in our iPhones (and iPads and computers) each night. We complain about toxic partisanship in government, but don’t turn out to vote. We’re outraged by social inequality, but can’t be bothered to do more than “like” a call to action on Facebook.

If the Do-ers have taught me anything, it’s that all this is just talk.

When we asked readers to submit nominations of young people working to change their communities, we were overwhelmed with responses. They highlight the impressive, and often moving, achievements of Millennials who care enough to change the status quo — and aren’t afraid to put their ideals into action.

The Do-ers.

Like 23-year-old Temimah Zucker, who transformed a woman’s life by helping her overcome anorexia. Or 17-year-old Amram Altzman, who created a gay-straight alliance after bravely coming out at his Orthodox day school. And Rachel Sumekh, 22, who formulated a system to allow fellow California college students to donate their unused dining plan meal points to the homeless.

All across the country, young Jews are working to improve their communities. These are just some of their inspirational stories waiting to be told.

— Anne Cohen

Additional research by Hody Nemes, Rachel Landes and Devra Ferst. These nominations have been edited for style and length.

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