Camp Gan Israel
Camp Gan Israel was named for Israel Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidic Judaism who was know for going out to the woods and nature to develop his connection with his Creator.
The first Camp Gan Israel was founded under the direction of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, in 1956 in upstate New York. Today, affiliated camps comprise a global footprint which is the largest network of Jewish camps in the world. CGI campers in 40 countries today enjoy sports and artistic activities while experiencing the richness and excitement of Jewish life.
The Rebbe’s vision was to leverage the beauty of nature with the warmth of Jewish life in a 24/7 immersion experience. Today many CGI’s, similar to CGI in the Poconos, have a specialized focus with respect to the campers they serve and the curriculum. One could certainly say that with more than 120,000 children attending branches throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Israel, South Africa, and Australia, the Rebbe’s dream is being fully realized.
CGI in the Poconos benefits from its affiliated network in terms of staffing and staff training, educational materials, curriculum and camping-related advisory services. Building on this strong foundation, we at CGI in the Poconos take summer camping for Jewish children and teens to the next level.
Ahavat Yisroel means “Love of Israel”
At the age of 5 and 1/2, the Israel Baal Shem Tov’s father gave his son his last words before passing on. They were “fear absolutely no one or no thing but God, and love every single Jew no matter who he/she is and no matter what he/she is doing”