A Place of Renewal

by Sarah Gurvis, Administrative Assistant

For the past 13 years, I have spent every summer at URJ Eisner Camp in the Berkshires. I’ve been a camper, a counselor, and a unit head. I’ve made friends that feel more like family, and both taught and learned from hundreds of incredible children. Eisner taught me how to be independent, confident, and showed me what I want from my life as a Jew.

When I was a camper, Eisner was always a place that was just fun – a place to play sports, do crafts, and mostly just hang out with my friends. As I got older, I realized how important camp really was in my life, and how it was shaping me into the person I want to be. Camp was my home, a safe and comforting place where I could always find happiness and a sense of calm.

My high school and college years were not ones I would consider to be the best of my life, but at the end of each challenging year, camp was always there, like a light at the end of the tunnel. I never knew what each summer would bring, but I knew I would come out of it happier than I had gone in. Something special happens at Eisner each summer, and gives every person who drives through the gates the opportunity to find exactly what they need, whatever it may be.

I’ve never known another place like Eisner, and assumed there couldn’t be another place of renewal, a place where people can come for spiritual healing – until I started working at Mayyim Hayyim.

Before I worked at Mayyim Hayyim, I was familiar with the idea of mikveh, and with the facility, having visited once before. What I wasn’t familiar with was the powerful experience that people have when they come to immerse. Simply being in the building, and helping people schedule immersions for any number of reasons has shown me that there is a place like camp where people can find that same sense of tranquility, contentment, or whatever they might be looking for, the same way I do each summer at Eisner.

Sarah works part-time as Mayyim Hayyim’s Administrative Assistant, and part-time as a nanny. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in May 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Judaic Studies. Sarah worked at Temple Shalom of Newton’s Hebrew school for 8 years as an Assistant Teacher, tutor, and substitute teacher. Sarah’s passion for Jewish Education stems from her 13 summers spent at URJ Eisner Camp as a camper, counselor, and unit head.


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