Eli Plenk

Eli Plenk is a New York-based writer, organizer and teacher who has spent a decade working at the intersection of racial justice and education. He came up in the Workmen’s Circle, spent much of the last five years building Boston Mobilization’s youth organizing school, and recently returned from Berlin where he was a Humanity in Action fellow. A graduate of Hampshire College, Eli wrote a good deal of his thesis on diaspora, whiteness, and postnational Jewish identity.

News and Politics

Dear Tal: An Open Letter About American Jewish Privilege

I read your op-ed in The Princeton Tory, Checking my Privilege: Character as the Basis of Privilege, making waves since Time reprinted it last week.

Like you, I am Jewish and my family came here fleeing anti-Semitic violence in Europe. They worked in the sweatshops of Lower Manhattan, and eventually built an upper-middle-class life for themselves. I am a living, breathing testament to the American dream, and it no coincidence that I am white and Jewish. This is not to say that all whites or Jews are well off, nor that all Jews are white or all whites Jewish. Rather I’m trying to point out that our families were able to move up in the world largely because American society gave them many of the literal and proverbial tools one needs to be upwardly mobile.

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