The story of a Jewish teen who changed the life of a disengaged Uber driver

by Leah Rosenberg

When an unaffiliated Jewish Uber driver picked up an average American teenager, he didn’t realize his life would completely change. There is something about being connected to the larger Jewish community that is inspiring and attracting. And this Uber driver felt that.

Los Angeles Uber Driver

In high school in the Ukraine, kids bullied this Jewish Uber driver for being Jewish. When his family immigrated to New York, they sometimes went to Jewish events. That was how they connected to the Jewish community. But when he moved to Los Angeles, he thought he didn’t have time to connect to his roots.

The Jewish American Teenager

But then something happened. The unaffiliated Uber driver picked up a classic American teenager – who also happened to be Jewish. They started speaking, and when the driver asked the teenager what his goals for the future are, the answer shocked him. The teen’s ambition was “to do something great for the Jewish People.” That is what he felt his purpose was. And that was the answer that changed the Jewish Uber driver’s life.

Jewish Community

The teenager’s reply deeply touched the Jewish Uber driver. It affected him enough that he actually made changes to be more connected to the Jewish community. He reached out to a local rabbi to learn about his religion – all because of a few words that a typical Jewish American teenager said.

Words Matter

In a poem title Drop a Pebble in the Water by James W. Foley, he writes:

Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave.
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.


Arab Incitement
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