By Noah Marlowe, Urban Mitzvah Corps 2017 Participant
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, has been, by far, one of the highlights of our Urban Mitzvah Corps journey thus far. During his visit, we did an activity where each of the participants acted as God and the other participants would ask very deep and insightful questions to the person acting as God. This activity was almost entirely student-run. What I liked most about Rabbi Jacobs is that during it, he didn’t demand our attention; instead, he listened closely to what we had to say until he truly understood where we were coming from.
After the activity, we got to understand what he did for a living and how, as part of that, he was contributing to the world. It was incredible to see how such an accomplished man had, at one point in his life, felt like we do now. At one point in his life, he wanted to make a change, but he wasn’t really sure how to do that.
That’s why all of us are here at Urban Mitzvah Corps. We want to make a difference, because we are unhappy with the state of our world. We want to do everything we can to change what’s happening. Rabbi Jacobs has dedicated his life to doing just that and that’s what I find most inspiring about him, as a person and as a leader.
During his visit, Rabbi Jacobs also spoke to us about transformation. He spoke of religious transformation and personal transformation, along with how we can play a part in a community’s transformation. He taught us that we, as Urban Mitzvah Corps, can be the cause of a hugely positive transformation in the world. Rabbi Jacobs taught us that every movement must begin with one person and that every ocean starts with one drop of water. He showed us that what we do matters.
Thank you, Rabbi Rick Jacobs.