Monthly Archives: מנחם אב / אלול תשסא - August 2001
For over 400 campers, Masmidim and Yeshivas Kayitz members that spent either 1 or both months of this Summer @ Gan Yisroel, NY, â€œSurvivalâ€ with professionally trained Survival director Gershon Sandler was a fantastic experience.
The daily exciting activities in the woods of CGI, had the campers learning how to survive in the forest by building debris shelter and starting a fire with birch bark and stone. The campers also played games and went on nature hikes where they learned about Hashems creations.
In addition to all the above many of the older campers were involved in building the first ever Jewish Survival Community in the woods. As in most communities their first project was to build a Mikva in the nearby stream. Afterwards, the campers, under the direction of Gershon Sandler went on to build a â€œkitchenâ€ which consisted of an open fire-pit where they cooked food, benches made from logs and a tarp covered table used for food preparation.
One of the Survival highlights of the summer was the â€œBaal Shem Tov Davening Experienceâ€ that was awarded to the best learning classes. The deserving classes, along with their learning teacher and Survival Director, would enter the forest after lineup in the morning, where they would make their way to the â€œShulâ€ constructed by Gershon. The Shul consisted of a tree that was cut down to serve as a Shtender and logs for the campers to sit on (see thumbnail photo above). The special part of this experience was not only the beautiful surroundings where the campers found themselves, but most importantly the slow pace of davening. The campers would daven with much Kavana and their learning teacher would explain many parts of the davening to them.
After davening the campers ate breakfast and were treated to special â€œeggs in a holeâ€ cooked over the open fire by Gershon. During breakfast, the experience continued with the campers listening to stories of the Baal Shem Tov.
Some other highlights included a â€œCan-paignâ€ that raised $100 for Hatzoloh, night hikes & bar-b-ques in the forest for the best bunks.
The campers of CGI would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to the Nathan Cummings Foundation & The Foundation for Jewish Camping for bringing Gershon Sandler to camp. If you are interested in having Gershon come down to your Chabad House or community, to create any type of outdoor nature experience you can contact him at ShalomTeva@aol.com 201-337-7050
Today the staff produced a wonderful play. The theme was “Tziur Pnei Harav” (Visualizing the face of the Rebbe). The story tells of a father and his two sons, who lived in Spain during the times of the inquisition. The father was a chief rabbi, as well as an expert Sofer, who passed on the expertise to his older son. Knowing that the inquisition was about to execute him, the Rabbi sends off his sons to Amsterdam, instructing the older son to take care of his baby brother. As they arrive in Amsterdam, the older son begins to teach the younger one, how to be a Sofer, as his father requested. Realizing his brother’s lack of interest, being that he didn’t remember his father, the older son shows the younger one a painting of their father. Upon seeing the painting, the son now has an appreciation for the wishes of his father whom he never saw and knew. As life goes on, the younger son gets involved with bad company, and in a short while, he finds himself in a church, with the priests urging him to be baptized. Just as the priests begin to recite the prayers, the son begins to remember his older brother telling him that in difficult times, he should always visualize his father’s face. With the image of his father coming to mind, the son is filled with courage and flees from the church.
The lesson the campers learned from the play, was that even someone who never saw the Rebbe, still now, through picturing the Rebbe?s face, from what we see in pictures and videos, can have the strength necessary to fulfill the Rebbe’s will.
The Staff of Shmais News Service joins the Staff & Campers of Camp Gan Yisroel, NY is wishing a very big Happy Birthday to the Executive Director of Gan Yisroel, Rabbi Avrohom Y. Shemtov. May he have a Shnas Hatzlocha Bakol, Mikol, Kol!
Yesterday, Sunday 16 Av was the 2nd vsiting day of the season @ Gan Yisroel, NY. Though visiting day didnâ€™t start officially till 12:00 noon, there were many visitors who arrived earlier. The weather was B”H very good all day long and the CGI canteen did a brisk business.
The amount of visitors was slightly less than the first month, however there were still many visitors from all over who came to visit, including former CGI Head Counselors, Shea Harlig, Yossi Hodakov, Mendel Marazov and Yossi Spalter.
Just before 2:00 there was a performance by the CGI choir in the Shul. The campers in the choir, under the conductorship of counselor Zalmy Friedman did a wonderful job, and were applauded for and loudly, by the packed Shul of visitors, campers & staff.
After the campers were done, there was a brief concert performance by a number of staff who also sang harmony in the campers choir.
As is customary, the campers who left camp returned with loads of nosh and other goodies to last them through the next 2 action packed weeks in the Rebbe’s camp.
Yesterday afternoon this was a hub of activity going on @ Gan Yisroel, NY. The campers and staff were all told that a big Gvir would be coming to visit camp and everyone was asked to go change into dark pants and white shirts.
A large podium covered with purple material and with a large shtender on top was set up near the flagpole. A purple material carpet was rolled out from the podium until the blacktop road that circles the Shul.
While the preparations were going on in camp Masmidim director Yossi Waks was recruiting 2 people to serve as bodyguards to accompany the Gvir in his limousine to camp.
The two bodyguards Yossi Waks recruited from the Mobil station in Parksville were Mike Weintraub & Dan McInnis from Binghamton. The two were given white shirts, ties & sunglasses and then entered the black stretch limousine along with the Gvir â€“ Yossi Katz.
When the limo pulled into camp the bodyguards went out of the limo and the Gvir walked out too, Rabbi Shemtov went over to the Gvir to welcome him to camp. Meanwhile the entire camp that was lined up beautifully began singing Haveinu Sholom Aleichem. As the Gvir walked over to the podium he shook hand with many campers that were chosen to be the official greeters.
In middle of his speech to the camp, the Gvir said â€œâ€¦and now itâ€™s a good time to tell you about COLOR WAR!â€. Immediately all the staff along with the two bodyguards began singing and dancing â€œLo Yisa Goiâ€. The kids were shocked and many of them were overheard asking â€œhe came all the way to camp to break out Color War?â€
After the breakout it was learned that one of the bodyguards, Mike Weintraub was Jewish. Not wasting any time Tefillin were bought and Yossi Waks helped him put on Tefillin, for the first time! A limo, a Gvir, a Color War breakout and a Karkafta, only in the Rebbeâ€™s camp.
The name of the war is Shnas Hameah war and the names of the teams are Meah and Meah Va’Achas
GAN YISROEL LEAVES THEIR MARK AS THEY ROCK 770
For Gan Yisroel, NY Chof-Av is a very special day, and this year was no exception. On Thursday morning after breakfast the whole camp went to the Mikva in the pool in preparation for trip to the Rebbe. During learning classes everyone wrote a pan.
After an earlier than usual lunch 12 buses each â€œequippedâ€ due to the hot weather with over 12 gallons of ice cold water and filled with over 500 campers, Masmidim Yeshivas Kayitz & staff members left to the Ohel & 770, keeping a tradition of over 20 years now that, CGI has gone to visit the Rebbe. A tradition much appreciated by the Rebbe all the years, when the Rebbe would give the children special attention.
Upon arriving at the Ohel, at 5:00pm, the campers entered the first tent that was lined up with benches for a rally. During the rally the campers davened a smashingly Lebedik Mincha, recited the 12 Pesukim and sang various songs. After Mincha the bunks were dismissed to the Ohel where the campers said Tehillim and read their Panim.
When the campers left the Ohel they washed their hands and were given cold cups of spring water. Afterwards they went into the second tent for supper. The tables were set up in an orderly fashion with each bunk given their own table, just like in camp. Salami sandwiches with ketchup or mustard, tuna sandwiches as well as cold drinks and fruit were served for supper in a very orderly fashion.
At 7:00pm the camp once more boarded the buses to go to 770. They arrived @ 770 @ 7:45pm. All the campers with their counselors and staff went in to 770 and sat down on the benches in the front of the Shul. Everything was set up in 770 thanks to Y.K. Director Yirmiya Berkowitz, Masmidim Director Yossi Waks and Yeshivas Kayitz & Masmidim members.
All the benches on both sides, in the front of the Shul until the Bima Hakriah were filled with over 360 kâ€ah campers, Masmidim & Yeshivas Kayitz members. The 150 kâ€ah Staff members of CGI were all standing on benches around the campers.
H.C. Sruly Altein conducted the singing and davening in 770. @ 8:00 the camp started singing camp songs. The singing and chayus reverberated throughout the whole 770 where everyone stopped what they were doing and focused on the Rebbeâ€™s camp â€œShepping Nachasâ€. The type of chayus displayed by camp is hard to put in to words and had to be seen to appreciate. 770 was more full than usual, with lots of extra people coming to see the Rebbeâ€™s Camp. The following were just some of the songs that camp sang. â€œGan Yisroel hoo Machanaynuâ€, â€œAl hasela hochâ€ (a song the Rebbe started when he visited camp), â€œAtah Vechartuhnuâ€ and â€œA small tree growsâ€.
H.C.S.A. told all the campers that they were now presenting Project Shlichus to the Rebbe. Following the explanation of the Project, the camp began singing â€œFrom 770â€¦ Shluchay Adonaynuâ€ with unsurpassed Chayus & vigor. This song was so lebedik, because Project Shlichus this summer in Gan Yisroel is having an amazing impact on the campers. The word â€œnationâ€ in the song â€œNation after nation we are conqueringâ€¦.â€ was sung 23 times corresponding to 23 countries & states involved in project Shlichus. Maariv led by a CGI Alumnus Yossel Keller started @ lerech 8:45. More rocking singing followed Maariv.
During the entire time that camp was in 770 Camp Executive Director Rabbi Avrohom Shemtov & Director Rabbi Yossie Futerfas were watching on and â€œsheppingâ€ much nachas.
As the campers left 770 a grand finale of singing â€œKesiva Vachasima Tovaâ€ was sung with great chayus. Outside of 770 the sweated up campers were cooled down from the excitement with ice-cold spring water and soda before they boarded the buses that were lined up on the service lane of Eastern Parkway stretching all the way from Kingston Ave. till Brooklyn Ave.
Following a rally with Pesukim, going into the Ohel, Mincha & supper everyone will be going to 770 for what will definitely be the loudest Maariv of the year in 770.
The Staff & Campers of Camp Gan Yisroel, NY would like to wish a very hearty Mazel Tov to our dear, dedicated & devoted Director, Rabbi & Mrs. Yossie Futerfas on the occasion of the Bar Mitzvah of their son Hendel. May the Bar Mitzvah Bochur be a source of Nachas to his parents & The Rebbe and may he grow up to be a Chossid, Yiray Shomayim & Lamdan.
Tuesday, August 07, 2001
Rabbi & Mrs. Noach Fox sponsor ices
On Monday night the entire younger division of Gan Yisroel, NY from Bunks 1-12 went on an overnight to the Neversink campgrounds, a beautiful camping site about 15 minutes from Gan Yisroel.
The campers had a great time collecting wood for their bonfires and enjoyed running around and playing in the great outdoors. CGI’s very own certified survival guide Gershon Snadler was on hand making sure everyone was having an easy time starting their fires.
At around 10:30pm Shmais.com CEO Levi & Miriam Hodakov arrived to check up on everybody. They brought along with them a treat for everyone. The treat, delicous frozen citrus ices were sponsored by Rabbi & Mrs. Noach Fox family of Crown Heights. The campers and staff enjoyed the frozen treats immensely.
On Tuesday morning the busses rolled out of Neversink with all the happy campers to Bowling @ Liberty Lanes & afterward to Mini & Long Range Golf also in Liberty where the campers had a blast!
On Tuesday afternoon the older division went to Neversink. The older division will be going tubing down the Delaware for their overnight trip.
Its been a real busy weekend at Camp Gan Israel. From the annual
Yarchei Kalah celebration, to our second and final visiting day. We apologize
for the lack of news reports. We will update the news page as soon as possible. In the mean time please enjoy the photographs that were taken in the last few days