What do “the Mo” (or Mo’adon, where campers get candy once/week) and “my family” have in common? They are both things that come up on an Eisner camper’s list of things they are grateful for. This summer we spent a lot of time learning about mindfulness, a necessary mindset for experiencing gratitude.
During Maccabiah, each team was represented by a different Biblical hero who had a “Hineini moment,” or a time when they were called to stand up and be fully present. Campers from our youngest to our oldest have practiced this kind of being present, or paying full attention to the current moment. At Eisner, we believe that mindfulness is both a Jewish value and an important life skill. It helps us to acknowledge what we have and how we feel, builds empathy and gratitude, and ultimately, we hope, will lead to a commitment to social justice.
We have worked to build this perspective and behavior in our campers and staff of every age. From “being the one,” to celebrating our diversity; from donating our leftover Trip Day money to various causes, to Yom International (when we celebrated our staff from around the world); from expressing personal prayers of gratitude over food, to experiencing the whimsy of Chanukah in August; we focused on the present moment, we experienced joy, and we shared what we have and who we are with others. It’s been an incredible summer of Jewish learning and growing, and we can’t wait to see what next summer will bring!