Meet Meir Tusk

“Pearlstone Center’s Family Farm Camp helped me discover my Jewish identity.”

Growing up, I never really felt connected to Judaism. It was something I struggled with for years. But that changed after my family went to Farm Camp at the Pearlstone Center. Farm Camp is like Jewish sleep-away camp for families. My wife, Katie, and I went with all of our kids, her two daughters and my two sons and we all had an amazing time.

At Farm Camp, there are typical camp activities like hiking, stream walking, swimming and farm chores like feeding the animals, milking the goats and gathering eggs from the chicken coops. For the parents, there are workshops in cheese making, soap-making and gardening. We all learned a lot about Jewish environmentalism.

In the mornings the kids can’t wait to get up and feed the animals. At meals, we eat the vegetables they picked. They are out in nature all day. We learn fun songs, have campfires and make s’mores. It’s a chance to bond with your kids without the interruption of TV or phones.

Shabbat at Farm Camp is different than anything I have ever experienced. It’s beautiful celebrating in that environment, with parents and children all participating. My then 9-year-old got an aliyah. Up to that point, he had never cared about Judaism. From then on, he wanted to be involved in Jewish life. It was probably the most meaningful service I’d ever been to.

There were Jews of every denomination at Farm Camp. I talked to many of them about Judaism and all sorts of other things. I spoke with Pearlstone staff for hours. They answered all of my questions without judgment. I felt completely accepted. For the first time, Judaism made sense. It clicked.

Farm Camp helped me to discover my Jewish identity. I realized there are all different ways to be Jewish.

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