Urban Mitzvah Corps: Recognizing Privilege

Posted on November 13, 2018 by By Jack Haftel, Urban Mitzvah Corps New Jersey 2018 Participant

This week we participated in a program to help us learn about privilege. In the program, we were asked questions regarding certain privileges we may have and depending on how we answered the questions, we took a step forward or backwards. I found this program very impactful, as it made us more aware of privileges we have that we may never have realized. Although it showed that not all of us had the same privileges, it taught us all an important lesson: when afforded certain privileges, it is our duty to try to help those less privileged so that they have just as much opportunity to change the world as we do.

For the past two weeks, I have been working at Elijah’s Promise, and the experience has been truly rewarding. It is an amazing feeling to see a person’s eyes light up when they have their first meal of the day, but at the same time it is upsetting. No one should have to be concerned about where their next meal is coming from and I, along with my fellow participants, hope that one day, no one has to be food insecure, struggling just to make ends meet. What brought us all together in the first place was the shared goal to help other people, to change someone’s life in any small or large way we could. We know that we may be more privileged than others, but this program has taught us that anyone can make a change in the world, no matter their life circumstances.


Originally published on the Urban Mitzvah Corps blog on July 11,2018. Reprinted with permission.

Re-published in the November-December 2018 issue of the Shofar. For more issues of the Shofar, visit the Shofar archives.