Happy Hanukkah!

Sending Hanukkah wishes from the Eisner Crane Lake family to your family!

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What are we Thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving from Us to You! We are so thankful for the incredible camp community we have. What are you thankful for?

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Rosh Chodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!

Rosh Chodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!

This summer, a group of 8th and 9th grade girls had a special Limud opportunity: to participate in a unique Rosh Hodesh program at Eisner Camp. Led by Nicole Nevarez, the New York Director of Moving Traditions (and also wife of one of our faculty, Rabbi Jason Nevarez), this pilot program covered topics such as friendships, “frenemies,” and images of women in the media—all through a Jewish lens. Sitting under the Limud tree, the girls used photos, text, and discussion prompts to explore questions such as: • What does it mean to “Act Like A Lady?” and do we want […]

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Olim Beit Am Update

In the spring of 2013, the town inspector declared the Olim Bet Am no longer fit for use. As a result, it was lovingly de-constructed (view the slide show) and temporarily replaced with the white event tent you have seen at pick up and drop off the past two summers. Inside “Mishkan Olim,” our 10th grade campers experienced a summer of memories and friendships that will stay in their hearts forever. Services and programs that Olim created in the tent for camp enriched the lives of our younger campers. Leadership skills that Olim developed in the tent carry over into […]

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The B’nai Mitzvah Trail – Parents Commitment to their Campers Friendships

Recently I had the pleasure of driving to Boston to attend the b’nei mitzvah of a camper and child of good friends of mine. Now making the drive from New Jersey was never an issue for me, as this is a couple that I have known for over 25 years when we worked at camp together. I was happy to make the trek which, compared to my friends who flew in from Florida and Israel, didn’t look like such a commitment relatively speaking. As the date approached, a neighbor mentioned that his son was attending and that he would be […]

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Amir: Building Gardens, Growing Communities @ Eisner

Summer 2014 marks the second year of the Amir Project’s presence at Eisner Camp and Farmer J, Swass and friends are certainly making their presence felt. Gardens are popping up all around camp, and all of our gardens — both new and old — are yielding daily harvests. Meanwhile, at the animal farm, Re’em and Louise have taught our campers how to care for animals both at camp and on a larger scale in the outside world. Our farming team uses our gardens and animal farm as media to teach our campers important life lessons about patience, diligence, and hard […]

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JTFN @ Eisner

This session in Kesher (upper camp Limud courses), Olim campers had the opportunity to sign up for a program called Jewish Teen Funders Network. This course aims to teach teens about philanthropy and enables them to actually be their own philanthropic Foundation with the ability to distribute real funds to various organizations. The following blog post was written by the participants in this course. We are a group of nine Olimers who signed up for JTFN, a program that we agreed to take part in for the entire session, rather than switching our Kesher course every week. We started out […]

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Our Oldest Campers Bringing Hebrew to Life for Our Youngest Campers

Our Oldest Campers Bringing Hebrew to Life for Our Youngest Campers

During the fifth week of the Eisner Camp summer I was blessed to create a wonderful project with some of our oldest campers. During our Kesher class time, over the course of four days, I tasked these extraordinary teens with the job of creating a video Hebrew dictionary for the K’tanim unit…our youngest overnight campers. The group set to work brainstorming all of the Hebrew words that we use at camp that would be helpful for new campers to know…names of buildings and units, common phrases, and words used in prayer or song on a regular basis. Then the campers […]

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What I Did at Summer Camp

What I Did at Summer Camp

I love being a congregational rabbi. I love that I get to get up every morning to teach, study, mentor, comfort, and inspire. And I love that I get to do it all in the context of strengthening the synagogue, the core institution of Jewish communal life. The only thing I love more than doing that sacred work within the four walls of our temple is when I get to pack my bags for two weeks in the summer and move my rabbinate north to the idyllic setting of Great Barrington, MA and the URJ’s Eisner Camp. The contrast between […]

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Be the One

Dear Eisner Camp Community, We wanted to share with you some of the exciting things that have been going in at camp this summer. But to do that accurately, we need to turn back the clock. It started almost two years ago in Cleveland, GA. That’s when Eisner’s Olim Fellows gathered with their counterparts from four other URJ camps at Camp Coleman for their fall Olim Fellowship Kallah. The guest speaker that weekend was David Long, a father from Chatsworth, GA. David and his wife, Tina, started the “Everything Starts With 1” Foundation in memory of their son, Tyler, who […]

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Maccabiah Break 2014

Maccabiah Break 2014

During the 7:15 AM walk to breakfast, red, blue, green and gold paraphernalia ornamented the path from our cabins to the chadar ochel. Something was brewing. The meal began innocently enough: warmers rolling through the aisles, soft music gracing everyone’s ears, and breakfast time med call all provided the familiarity of a routine camp morning. Then, suddenly, all staff rose in their seats. Maybe this was it! Maybe the beautiful, camp-wide madness was all about to kick off! But, alas, the clave rhythm of Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” beating on the dining hall’s loudspeakers revealed that it was just a […]

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Walking the Walk

Walking the Walk

This past Shabbat at Eisner camp something truly special happened! We started our morning cheering on the Eisner and Crane Lake staff and campers who ran the half-marathon for Team Ethan. Ethan Kadish is a camper from URJ Goldman Union Camp who was struck by lightning last summer. URJ camps throughout North America have all joined Team Ethan in support of him and his family. All of those that ran proudly wore shirts in support of Ethan. Also our campers have been so moved by his story that they even donated leftover trip day money to his fund. Following t’filah […]

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