Chanukah Reunions Brings Joy to Ckids Gan Israel Kids

Campers and their families were thrilled to see their camp directors, Levi and Chaya Plotkin, who brought Chanukah joy and high energy to dozens of Florida homes.

On the first night of Chanukah, as the Levy family just finished dinner and homework, a shiny white pickup truck pulled up in front of their house. Emblazoned with a huge Ckids Gan Israel banner and decked out with a shiny Menorah on top, the mobile Chanukah party featured Rabbi Levi Plotkin, his wife Chaya, and their two-year-old daughter, who together visited close to 50 campers over the 8 nights of Chanukah. 

Carrying trays of fresh donuts and boxes of Menorahs, wearing the Camp T-shirt, and pulling a portable party speaker blasting the Ckids Gan Israel theme, the Plotkins brought true Chanukah joy to homes all over Florida.

“I was totally not expecting to see my camp rabbi” said Jonathon Levy. “But once I saw him we started dancing together right away. It was the best Chanukah memory.”

At each house they visited, Rabbi Levi and Chaya Plotkin lit the Menorah with kids, played dreidel with them, and gave out Chanukah gelt—all in true Chanukah spirit. ““Kids got a chance to rejuvenate their Yiddishkeit,” says Chaya Plotkin, co-director of CKids Gan Israel. “And what better time than Chanukah?”

Ckids Gan Israel is an overnight camp in Florida that launched in 2020 with just 30 campers. By last summer, enrollment doubled to 60 campers. Kids love Ckids Gan Israel because of its minute to minute fun, high energy, dedicated staff and all in a Jewish camp being completely immersive in a magical experience. “These Kids’ came back on fire and lives are changed forever,” says Shliach Rabbi Pinchos Adler, who has since sent 6 kids to the camp.

The power of summer camp is nothing new. Explains Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, Executive Director of Merkos 302, “The Rebbe emphasized time and again how much of an effect a summer can have.” 

The visits just reinforced a love for camp that goes unmatched. Parents got a chance to see “why their kids can’t stop talking about camp,” says Rabbi Levi Plotkin, co–director of CKids Gan Israel.

One parent, Miriam Haim from Boynton Beach says that her kids loved Ckids Gan Israel so much that, “It’s raised the bar to a point that I don’t think we can go anywhere else.”

Adds 12 year old Rom Tal from Aventura : “It’s the best sleepaway camp in the WORLD.”

Every night of Chanukah, the theme song blasted as the Plotkins brought Chanukah spirit to homes around Florida. “The friends, the vibe, the energy, I got exactly all I need; It’s so Geshmak to be a Yid. Ckids Gan Israel this is my home!” Summer may have been months ago, but for campers of Ckids Gan Israel, memories really do last a lifetime. 
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