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Sarah Gray Isenberg

IsenbergSarah Gray Isenberg is a fourth-year Literary Journalism and Comparative Literature/ Cultural Studies double major. She previously interned at Patch.com but now works for 9-1-1 For Kids, a safety education charity headed by celebs Kathy Ireland and Tim Brown, as the corporate communications and social media manager.

Her goal is to run an international public health publication and generate a greater awareness of the disparities in medical, sanitation, and water by writing for a nonprofit organization geared toward addressing these issues. In the meantime, you can find her on your local sidewalks walking dogs or down at the coast scouring the tidepools for a starfish or octopus

The story behind the story:

I discovered the Twelve Tribes through rumors that passed among my classmates and family near Palomar College in San Marcos, CA. I was intrigued by their strangeness and reluctance to join modern culture in the 21st-century metropolitan San Diego that was burgeoning around them. I thought Who would attempt utopia in such a broken world?

I planted the seed in the back of my mind, and it only began growing into a story years later when my professor asked us to push beyond our known world and into the beyond. I began attending their Sabbath Day celebrations and spent some Fridays dancing with them around the fire, falling very much in love with their quirks, kindness, and hospitality.

Ruth was the window into this story. She took me into it unquestioningl, revealing to me a new religion, ideology, and a new breed of people. They were so kind to me that at first it was hard to expose them fully for what they were, whatever they were.

The greatest advice I received was to let the story unfold by itself, and it wasn’t until the morning I submitted my story that I found an ending that embodied my feelings toward them.