Behind the Music: Be the One – Songs from the Bubble, Part 1

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The response to our new collection of camp songs has been amazing, and we wanted to go “behind the music” to show you how it all came about and how it’s inspiring members of our camp community. We speak every summer about how each of us can be the one to stand up to bullying, to help feed the hungry, to protect our environment. Each of us has the ability to take action and do something, and to see the ripple effect that our action can have on others. This past Hanukkah, we released a new Eisner album: Be the One – Songs from the Bubble. Now we have an incredible song, as well an entire album, that will help us reinforce and spread this message during the summer and beyond.

Each song on the album shares this message of social justice and how we can help make the world a better place. It starts with our title track, Be the One, written this past summer at camp by Eisner campers together with singer/songwriter Alan Goodis. This song quickly became the unofficial anthem of the summer.

Some of the songs on the album are classics of the Reform Jewish camping movement (Lo Alecha, Im Tirtzu, Not By Might) while others come to us from the American folk tradition and remain popular at camp (This Land is Your Land, If I had a Hammer, God’s Counting on Me). Still other more recently written songs represent our continued commitment as a movement to social justice (Lo Yisa Goy, L’takein, Al Shlosha, What Makes You Glow) or come to us from the rich tradition of Israeli music that emphasizes a similar spirit of repairing the world together (Ani V’ata, Shir La’Ahava). Of course, no Eisner album would be complete without our camp song, Over the Rafters!

We learn and practice so many ways to be the one while we are at camp each summer. While we talk about the values that we want to live by as a cabin, unit, and camp-wide community, we also put our words into action. This past summer, for example, we participated in a 5K walk/run to raise awareness for different causes selected by our campers and staff, including support for the Jewish community of our two Ugandan staff members, Yonatan and Sam. We have continued to support Yonatan and Sam’s community of Namatumba through an organization called Kulanu this year. (If you’d like to make a donation, be sure to write “Eisner/Namatumba” in the comment field or check memo.) We just received thank you photos from them and wanted to share them with you!

We also raised money for a wide range of social justice organizations at the annual Ofarim Tzedakah fair. Our Ofarim campers (rising 7th graders) also participated in a special volunteer day, giving their time to organizations around the Berkshires to support our local community.

We hope that as you listen to these songs throughout the year, you will be inspired by what you have learned and done at camp to take action beyond the Eisner bubble. This album is a soundtrack for Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, something we know you each have the ability to do!

Stay tuned for our next installments, where we will share how our campers and families have brought these values to life!