Be Like a Duck

by Laura Seide, InternLaura Seide photo

It is now halfway through my year-long internship here at Mayyim Hayyim, and I have a confession to make:

I have a crush on Carrie Bornstein.

Though all the staff at Mayyim Hayyim are amazing, strong and intelligent women, who are fantastic role models as both professionals and community members, there’s just something about Carrie.

Carrie is super cool. She’s confident and eloquent, and surprisingly young for being the leader of one of the most innovative Jewish organizations in North America. She manages what seems like a hundred different tasks at once, and she does it all while pregnant and already an Ima (mother) of two. Carrie once said, “Be like a duck. Calm on the surface and paddling like the dickens underneath.”

Carrie genuinely cares about Mayyim Hayyim. She is the one always reminding us that we should be fighting over who gets to answer the door with a smile. She is the one who dashed back into the building when the fire alarm was going off, in order to grab a folding screen for the immersee to stand behind, so she would feel comfortable in her half-undressed state. Carrie begins each morning with a hearty hello and an inquiry into your health, and ends each day with wishes for a good night. She gives sincere thanks and high fives for jobs well done.

I have never once felt like an intern here. Carrie values my opinions just as much as anyone else’s. She actively encourages me to speak up in all meetings, and she trusts me to complete large projects successfully. Carrie and I have check-ins at which she makes sure that my questions are answered and that I feel like I am engaging in meaningful work. Carrie’s answer is never “No.” She encourages me, and all the staff, to think big and to take on new challenges. Then, she reminds us that, should that challenge be a little bit too big, she or another staff member or a volunteer is always there as back up.

Laura Seide grew up in Franklin, MA at Temple Etz Chaim. After earning a BA in Classics at University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, where she was president of Hillel and a religious school teacher at Temple B’Rith Kodesh, she moved back to Boston in order to be closer to her parents. (They were quite happy.) Last year she worked at Kolbo, and this year she is the Development Intern at Mayyim Hayyim. She is currently applying to Rabbinical School for Fall 2013.


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