CGI Keeps a Favorite

Camp Gan Israel in Parksville, NY, Chabad’s oldest overnight camp for boys, is once again hiring a married man on its head staff.

By COLlive reporter

Camp Gan Israel in Parksville, NY, announced its head staff for the summer of 2012 – and more than one of the names will sound familiar.

Levi Shemtov of Uruguay and Nochum Schapiro (ben R’ Gavriel) of Crown Heights will be joining Rabbi Nachman Dov Wichnin as Head Counselors of Chabad’s oldest overnight camp for boys.

“This will be Nachman Dov’s fourth summer with us,” the camp director Rabbi Yossi Futerfas told

Hiring a married man for the job is a rarity among Chabad summer camps, relying instead on single bochurim and girls who are on break from the yearly learning routine.

“We are lucky to have him,” Futerfas admitted. “The dream was always to have such staff coming back summer after summer.

“Nachman Dov is very responsible and has tremendous people skills – with children and parents alike. Having him on board brings a certain consistency.”

Futerfas likened his hiring to that of Rabbi Sholom Baras who has been the learning director for years now, and is joined by bochurim as co-learning directors (this year Menachem Altein of Crown Heights and Shazi Perman of Chile).

CGI Unearths Rare find

A throwback to the Borsht Belt: A rare antique was found hidden in a sunken shed in Camp Gan Israel Parksville.

By COLlive reporter

Construction work at the parking lot of Camp Gan Israel in Parksville, NY, has landed the known Chabad boys overnight camp a rare find.

A 1940’s Dodge Woody Beach Wagon was unearthed in a hidden shed while excavating the lawn used for parking across the Parksville Road which belongs to the camp.

It is estimated that the car has been inside the shed for over 40 years. Amazingly, everything inside the car remained intact, with air in 3 of its 4 tires.

The grounds once belonged to Klein’s Hillside Hotel, one of the largest resorts in the Catskills during the Borsht Belt era. It was able to host some 350 guests.

“Klein’s was a huge hotel complex. It had professional basketball players on its staff. It booked only the best entertainers on weekends. The grounds were enormous,” Stanley Greenberg recalled in the Plainview Old Bethpage Herald.

When the camp director Rabbi Abraham Shemtov purchased the property, moving the Gan Israel from its rented grounds in Swan Lake to Parksville, the shed was part of an unused maintenance building.

It sunk some 7 feet in the ground with its roof at street level and hidden by tall trees. It was recently ordered to be demolished.

The Dodge Woody is a rare find, and is sought after by antique car collectors. A fully-restored Dodge Woody Beach Wagon can fetch a nice amount at auction.

The Woody has been carefully removed from the sunken shed and is expected to be sold.