One time, I accidentally went to a support group for perfectionists. I spent the whole time thinking I didn't exactly fit the definition of perfectionism.
I was most definitely in the right room.
Before I did the Jeremiah Fellowship (which, spoiler alert, is currently accepting applications in your area ), I wanted to be the perfect activist and repair the world right now, by myself, this week. But I didn’t know how.
I needed a school to help me become the organizer I was meant to be. Bend the Arc, and the Jeremiah fellowship, was that school. When I joined Bend the Arc, it was the first time a mentor took me by the hand and said, “What do you want to learn? How can we support your professional development? We're so happy you're here.”
This week I graduated with the rest of my Los Angeles cohort from the Jeremiah Fellowship.
From this year's Jeremiah Fellowship graduation
(Who should apply to be a Jeremiah Fellow? Young people between the ages of 22 and 32, who identify as Jewish – whatever that means to them! – and live in Philadelphia, Denver, St. Louis, Miami, Cleveland, Long Island, Los Angeles, or the Bay Area.)
As a Jeremiah Fellow, I spent my weekends taking classes from expert organizers and trainers. I canvassed, protested, and recruited my community to the causes that I care about. I was empowered to become the organizer I wanted to be — no matter what I expressed interest in learning, someone at Bend the Arc cleared space in their calendar to teach me.
Plus, at Bend the Arc, there's no one way to be Jewish, and there’s no such thing as not-Jewish-enough. It was transformative to define for myself what it means to show up Jewishly in the fight for justice.
I feel so much gratitude for this fellowship and the chance to grow as an organizer with incredible teachers. That’s why I want to make sure other young Jews around the country get the same opportunity.
This Fellowship is for those of us who: watch the news and feel sick with the state of the world, think we don’t know enough to make a difference, but want to organize progressively, Jewishly, and proudly. The Jeremiah Fellowship is for us.
See you at graduation next year,
Sarah Rogozen, Jeremiah Fellow ‘18