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Gala Banquet Celebrates 60th Year

60 years

Rabbi Avraham Shemtov and Rabbi Moshe Lazar  addressed the campers, and

numerous videos and songs were prepared especially for the occasion.

On Tes Zayin Tammuz, 5716, the Rebbe visited the grounds of the fledgling Camp Gan

Yisroel. Touring the installations, the Rebbe showed his great interest in every aspect of

camp.

As the 60th summer of Camp Gan Yisroel – New York continues, this day was celebrated

in a truly special way.

Immediately following Mincha, the campers entered the shul, which had been

decorated for the occasion with special lighting, large screens, and state-of-the-art

surround sound. The evening began with greetings from former campers and staff,

including Rabbi Shmuel Lew, Rabbi Zev Katz, Rabbi Moshe Feller, and many others. This

was followed by a few words from HC Berel Slavaticki, who emphasized the importance

of the day.

After singing Ani Maamin with a video of the Rebbe, the Rebbe’s kapital was read by

Rabbi Dubinsky.

Following the lavish main course, prepared by chef Shloime Futerfas and the dedicated

kitchen staff, Rabbi Avraham Shemtov spoke. He shared with camp a note that he

recently found in which Rabbi Lazar had written the directives that the Rebbe gave

regarding the founding of camp. After describing in detail the Rebbe’s close connection

with camp, Rabbi Shemtov called up the guest speaker, Rabbi Moshe Lazar, who flew in

especially for the occasion from Milan, Italy, where he is a shliach. Rabbi Lazar was

privileged to be the one who founded Camp Gan Yisroel together with Rabbi Yossi

Weinbaum and Rabbi Kehos Weiss, as well as being the first head counselor. Rabbi

Lazar described the Rebbe’s fatherly care to each and every individual, and spoke

about how Camp Gan Yisroel has grown from 1 camp with under 100 campers in the

inaugural season to 400 branches, with 10,000 staff and 150,000 campers annually.

Gan Yisroel’s very own choir then sang a song that was composed especially for this

event. A sicha of the Rebbe about the importance of camp was then shown, after which

a camper spoke and introduced the theme video. The theme video describes the

change that camp can make in the life of each camper. Then came spirited singing and

dancing.

Click continue reading for extended article and gallery.

The evening was capped off by a performance by the world-renowned psychologist and

“mind-reader” Mark Salem. Salem, who himself was a camper in Gan Yisroel,

enthralled the audience with his seemingly impossible feats.

The banquet was made possible by the efforts of our dedicated staff. Special thanks go

to Rabbi Shemtov, Rabbi Futerfas, Naftali Marasow, Shmuli Zalmanov, ECADs Yisroel

Cohen and Sholom Loebenstein, and Shishim Shona coordinators Dovi Pinkovitch and

Tzemach Dovid Feller.