Celebrating jubilee at Kiryat Gan Israel of New York
PARKSVILLE, NY – The flagship Camp Gan Israel is celebrating its golden jubilee this Sunday, August 6 – a half century since the Rebbe founded and visited the first campers at the original site in New York.
A global exhibit consisting of presentations by branches in 34 countries around the world and most states in our country will be held this Sunday at the picturesque grounds of the mother camp at Kiryat Gan Israel, Old Route 17, between Liberty and Parksville N.Y.
The magnificent program that was prepared, in house, by the outstanding talented staff with the participation of the campers, will demonstrate the historical revolution in the educational system introduced by its founder, the saintly Lubavitcher Rebbe, of blessed memory, five decades ago.
“The Rebbe was the first to recognize that summer camp should be viewed not as a vacation but as an ‘experience’ – not as a holding pattern between school years, but as the most important part of the Jewish educational year,” says Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, who has been with Gan Israel since its inception, and has served as its executive director for nearly half a century.
Today Camp Gan Israel is a global phenomenon with sleep-away and day camps throughout North America and in virtually every corner of the globe – including Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, China, Cyprus, England, France, Israel, Italy, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine …and the list goes on and on.
And to this day, every Camp Gan Israel, however great or humble, hews to the Rebbe’s original vision of embracing Jewish children of all backgrounds and providing them with a pure experience that will define how the rest of their year – and the rest of their lives – will be lived.
This year there are nearly 500 Gan Israel Camps operating worldwide, with a total enrollment of some 50,000 children.
Over 100,000 boys have enjoyed the Gan Israel NY experience since its inception, and with virtually no exception, the Gan Israel alumni serve also as the primary cadres from which nearly 3,000 Chabad Shluchim have been drawn.
The program on Sunday will also include a concert highlighted by a former alumnus of Gan Israel, the upcoming star, singer Benni Friedman, accompanied by a band and the camp choir, announced camp director Rabbi Yossi Futerfas.
The program is opened to the public and friends and former alumni are welcomed to participate.