Legacy of Gan Yisroel’s Founder Built Upon By Son In Russia

As Jewish summer camps begin across Russia, Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, son of Gan Yisroel founder Rabbi Moshe Lazar, paid a visit to the central Camp Gan Yisroel in Moscow’s suburb of “Istra”.

Photos: Levi Nazarov

With the close of the official school year, Jewish summer camps across Russia immediately opened their doors. In camp, the campers receive a double and triple dose of Yiddishkeit from their dedicated counselors who fill their days with fun Jewish content which leaves its impact on them and their families for the rest of their lives. Already within the first week of camp, dozens of children took upon themselves to wear tzitzis every day, to daven, give tzedakah, and other practical mitzvos.

The famous network of “Gan Yisroel” camps was founded by the Lubavitcher Rebbe especially for Jewish children who do not have the opportunity to study at Jewish schools throughout the year.

The chossid Reb Moshe Lazar was appointed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to head these camps, which he did for a number of years before he was sent on shlichus to Italy to found Jewish schools there.

His son, the Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, went in his father’s footsteps and, about 35 years ago, founded camp Gan Yisroel in Russia, which became the cornerstone for many more Jewish educational institutions throughout the vast country, bearing an innumerable amount of spiritual fruits.

A number of days ago, the Chief Rabbi came to visit the central Camp Gan Yisroel in Moscow’s suburb of “Istra”. He was emotionally greeted by hundreds of campers whom he warmly addressed, calling upon them to use every moment at camp to the maximum, learning about Torah and Mitzvos, and to continue all this goodness upon their return home to their families for the rest of the year.

Rabbi Lazar was given a complete tour of the newly renovated camp grounds, during which he also saw the excellent care and attention given to the campers there. He warmly expressed his gratitude to the esteemed donors and sponsors, and to the camp Director, Shliach to the “Moskva City” neighborhood, Rabbi Yossi Weisberg, and to the dedicated counselors, many of whom are “Camp Gan Yisroel” alumnae themselves.

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