Camp- it’s a word with a warm and exciting connotation for so many kids across the world. Where a child swaps books and homework for fun activities, swimming and play. Throughout the years I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in camps in various capacities, starting as a camper in Gan Israel day camp of Houston and then in an overnight camp in upper Michigan. I later returned to that same camp as a counselor in 1996 and then worked in various Camp Gan Israel’s as counselor or head counselor in New Jersey, Quebec, Maryland, Ukraine (quite an eye-opening experience!) southern California, and South Africa (at a Gan Israel scuba diving camp) In 2012, I began running the Gan Israel camp here in Raleigh.

Yet despite the different camp hats I’ve worn and the different experiences each camp has offered, there is a common denominator that each of these camps shares; striving to give each camper an amazing experience in a warm, Jewish environment. To that end, I’ve been privileged to see and hear first-hand accounts from our parents and campers here at CGI Raleigh how much they (or their child) has gained from being a camper at camp. It is incredibly gratifying to hear (and I’ll be happy to get you in touch with some of these parents) how impactful a few weeks of camp has been for their child, and that a connection that was forged during camp with another camper or counselor has continued throughout the year. While we have some amazing trips and activities, the secret of our success lies in the hard work and care that our dedicated staff give over to each and every camper. I invite you to be join our Gan Israel mishpacha and experience this firsthand!


-Rabbi Lev