In today’s day and age, it is so easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the problems surrounding you. When I first joined social media, I felt like every day something new had gone wrong somewhere in the world. I had no idea where to start. One day, I saw a post from a climate organizer I followed with some tips on how to get involved. Step one was to reach out to anyone and everyone about working with them. Shortly after seeing her post, I came face to face with the perfect opportunity to put this theory to the test.
While I attended Camp Tov this summer, a speaker from The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) spoke to us about our role as Jews in combating white supremacy. I took a deep breath and emailed the speaker, Mara, to ask her if there were any opportunities to work with JCUA, and it totally paid off. Every day, I am so grateful that I gathered the courage to email Mara. Taking part in Jewish organizing has been one of the most fulfilling opportunities I’ve ever had. While working with JCUA, I know that everyone around me is similarly fueled by a love of learning and the desire to repair the damage done to the world around us. Unlike my past experiences with activism, I never feel like I have to compromise any part of my identity while I work.
During one of the campaigns I worked on this fall, Fair Tax, I felt called to take part because of how closely its message aligned with Jewish literature. For example, Torah teaches that you should leave portions of your field unsown so that your neighbor or the stranger can come and eat. With this message in mind, all of us knew that it was our role, as Jewish people, to make sure that those around us were taken care of, even if meant sacrificing some of our time or resources. Because of my few months working with Jewish organizers, I want to encourage all Jewish youth feeling a little overwhelmed to reach out to any Jewish organizations they love, I guarantee they will not regret it.