This week we were fortunate to have some great visitors, like the Jewish National Fund and visiting artist Alan Goodis. While he worked with a segment of our campers to write a song, all of our campers got to explore the power of music to inspire and sustain social justice efforts.
Of course campers listened to some classic protest songs, from artists such as Peter, Paul and Mary; Bob Marley; and Bob Dylan. They also learned about the way music boils a complex issue down to its core message, and they used sidewalk chalk to write their own messages around camp. The range of messages was inspiring–it’s clear our campers have a lot of passions! They played tag and reverse tag to see what happens when a group of people tackle a problem rather than one person trying to confront it alone. And they discussed the story of the mountain and the cliff, which our faculty acted out, which you can watch here.
We’ve talked a lot about the importance of being the one to stand up at Eisner Camp. This year we have taken this message further, emphasizing the power of a group of people galvanized around a cause. We note that change requires a long term commitment, relating it to the idea of vows that is in this week’s Torah portion. Standing up is important, but it takes grit and perseverance to see a change through. Our sacred texts and our mission statement remind us: “You are not required to complete the work, nor are you free to ignore it.” (Pirke Avot 2:16) What can help us to persevere through the ups and downs on the long road of social change? One tool is music.
This week’s featured camper reading
By: Bonim campers Mitchell, Micah, Lucas, and Lincoln
Sometimes it is hard to listen to other people even if it is easy to hear them. The Sh’ma prayer that we are about to chant is about both listening and hearing. We vow that we will do our best to listen to not just our ears but also our hearts. It is important to listen with your heart because you need to understand what other people are saying to give them respect.