Camp Gan Israel
Alright, now that we discussed how Levi Shemtov and Mendel Azimov became connected to Gan Yisroel, let’s move on to Levi Katz.
Levi started off his career as a camper in Gan Yisroel Florida which was then in Orlando. He was known very well throughout camp as a big troublemaker.
The head staff saw no hope in Levi and started ignoring his behavior hoping that it would stop but it obviously never did.
After two summers in Florida Levi’s father figured that sending him to a new camp would be a good idea and give him a fresh start.
Levi spent the summer of 5770 in Gan Yisroel Detroit, in the beginning, it was very hard for Levi, he didn’t know anybody, and the camp was a very different style than Florida, but that all changed by the grand sing of color war 5770. It was team Hu Bachaim and team Zaroi Bachaim, as Levis team – Zaroi bachayim stood to sing their Alma-Matter Levi didn’t have an ounce of care for the song, team, or the entire color war but the beautiful words of the song jumped right into his heart!
“Times may be dark, yet the light still shines strong
Eternal – his words carry through
We’ll listen and watch the Farbrengen’s from then
Till we’ll be there again and hear them anew”
These words crushed through levi like a ton of bricks! “This is the place, this is where I want to spend the rest of my life” screamed Levi, “I will never leave Gan Yisroel.”
From 5770 till the summer of 5771 Levi couldn’t stop thinking of camp and this seder followed every year as camp finished, Levi waited in anticipation for the next summer!
But the real cause for Levis deep love of Gan Yisroel came from a staff member of his who taught him a very valuable lesson in Avodas Hashem, to always swim against the current, even if the whole world is going on way, you will go the other way because your the Rebbe’s Chossid! L’chatchila Ariber!
In 5774 Levi said goodbye to Gan Yisroel thinking that this may be his last summer in camp, little did he know what was to follow…
In 5777 levi had the Zechus to return to camp, that summer set Levi’s path which eventually led to the summer of 5781.
A simple phone call between two Chassidim, 5 words so strong and clear, that’s all it took…
Tune in next week to find out how these three stories all come together to create one long beautiful story of how 3 special people were chosen for a role only they can do…
See you next Tuesday!