Behind the Music: Be the One – Songs from the Bubble, Part 3

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All this week, we’ve been sharing stories about how our new Eisner album, Be the One, can be the soundtrack for our community to take action to improve the world beyond the bubble. Today, we are sharing “Be the One” stories from our staff and alumni.

Over the past few summers, Eisner and Crane Lake hosted Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry “cheek swab” drives to find matches for patients needing bone marrow or blood cell transplants. We recently learned that staff members from both Eisner and Crane Lake matched with individuals battling life-threatening diseases. This week, Jesse Cerotti, former Eisner staff member, shared his story:

In 2013 I got a cheek swab during a Gift of Life registry sign up at URJ Eisner Camp. A month ago I found out I was a match for a leukemia patient [and I participated in the] volunteer donation process. Thank you to the individuals and organizations that make this work possible! Even in times that may seem dark, kindness is always possible.

Jesse truly embodied what it means to be the one to save someone’s life through his own selfless act.

This past week, many of our families, staff, and alumni participated in Women’s Marches around the country. Consistent with the Reform Movement values that we teach and live at camp, the Women’s Marches supported women’s rights, social justice, and inclusion. Several of our alumni shared their experiences and the way that camp influenced them to stand up and be the one to join in these marches:

Ben Cutler
There was something incredible knowing that I was one of many who felt that what is happening in our country now is not right. Rather than just feel powerless, I took the lessons I learned at Eisner, and decided to be the change that I want to see in the world.

Rabbi Miriam Farber Wajnberg
Marching and protesting with a toddler is no walk in the park. I took my 20-month old son Shai (Olim 2030!) to the Women’s March on NYC. We only marched the last 5 blocks of the parade route, but being there, being present, speaking up loudly as allies in the fight for justice, was crucial for both of us. Shai won’t remember the March, but we’ll show him pictures of him and his best friend from daycare, as we teach him what it means to stand with women, with people of color, with immigrants, and with other disenfranchised communities for justice.

Juliet Pesner
For me, the most amazing part of the march was it’s sheer immensity. I loved having the opportunity to help fight for my beliefs at the heart of the US government, but I loved being surrounded what may have been a million other people doing the same thing even more. The experience was incredibly empowering. It reminded me not only that democracy is still alive and well within the hearts of the people, but also that I’m far from alone in my pursuit of justice and equality for women and all people.

Eric Abbott
When I attended the Women’s March in Washington, I marched as an individual, one of hundreds of thousands of people. Who was I to make a difference? In what ways did I stand out? Yet as Eisner Camp teaches us, that march could not happen without every single one of us standing up, leaving our homes, and marching together. To stand up for what’s right, to create a mass protest, to get our voices heard, to advocate for women’s and human rights–we each needed to be the one. I felt proud to stand up for my values as I marched as an ally for social justice.

Those that marched all expressed a feeling of being one among many. In this way, they represent the core value of our camp mission statement: Lo alecha hamlacha ligmor, v’lo ata ben chorin l’heebatel mimena – It is not your duty to complete the work, neither are you free to desist from it. Each person who takes an action has the ability to influence thousands more – that’s what it means to be the one.

If you have a story of how camp influenced you to take action in the world, be sure to send it our way! Thank you for all that you do to bring our camp values beyond the bubble.