Camp FREE Gan Israel Winter Experience
Kingston, New York State—Twenty-five Jewish boys had the time of their lives here during this year's Chanukah vacation at Camp Gan Israel. They rollicked in skiing, snow tubing, ice-skating and other winter sports over a good part of the eight-day vacation at FREE's upstate vacation camp.
"What I really enjoyed," one camper told his counselor, "was when we would come back from the snow and ice and get together in the warm dining room to light the menorah, listen to the stories and sing songs" long into the night.
This year was the first time the boy kindled the Chanukah candles and with his own menorah. He recalled how his grandmother would relate to him how her father secretly lit the Chanukah candles during dark years in Communist Russia.
"What Camp FREE is all about", reflects Rabbi Mendel Okunov, educational director at FREE, "is to give the boys these profound Jewish experiences. Our goal is to reach out to Jewish youth and to expose them to the beauty of our rich, sacred heritage."
Rabbi Yitzchok Hecht, Chabad emissary to Kingston, NY, where the camp is located, says: "It was very inspiring to see children so involved in learning about their Jewish tradition and culture."
Camp FREE Gan Israel Winter Experience is skillfully geared for the winter vacationing of youths by Rabbi Dan Dashevsky, Youth Director at FREE.
If you know of any children who might benefit from FREE's youth programs or to get more information, please contact FREE Youth Services Division at 718-467-0860 Ext. 101 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.