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.
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.
Anne Cohen is the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.