A Jew is a journeyer. To be a Jew is to be constantly moving from what you are to what you can be, and from what you have made of yourself to yet a deeper truth of what you are. To be a Jew is to be engaged in a perpetual quest to improve yourself and improve G-d's world; to transcend the world and transcend your self; to transcend even as you improve and to improve even as you transcend.
A Jew is a prophet. To be a Jew is to be engaged in a lifelong conversation with G-d: to daily present before G-d your questions and your needs, your grievances and your aspirations; and to listen carefully to what G-d desires of you.
A Jew is a faithful servant. To be a Jew is to do good not only because it gains you material or spiritual reward; not only because it makes sense or feels right to do so; but, first and foremost, because G-d so commanded.
NEARLY 3,800 YEARS AGO there lived a man named Abram. Before his time there were righteous men and women, teachers and gurus, activists and do-gooders. But they were not Jews. Abram himself was, for many years, a teacher and spiritual guide, a champion of justice and truth, a bestower of charity and kindness. But
he wasn't a Jew. Not yet.
Then, in Abram's 75th year, he heard and responded to the divine call, Lech lecha me'artzecha, me'moladetecha, ume'beit avicha, el haaretz asher areka...
This is what G-d said to Abram (translated into English): "Go, you, from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you."
G-d also said (as per the Kabbalistic interpretation of the above-quoted Hebrew words and phrases): "Go to your innermost self: move away from your will, from your feelings, and from your intellect, to the desire that I will reveal to you."
Thus Abram became Abraham, the first Jew.