“Gan Israel” Summer Camps Expands to 61 Branches

The first girls' summer camps opened in 1991. This recent picture from the girls' session at Gan Israel Moscow.

The first girls’ summer camps opened in 1991. This recent picture from the girls’ session at Gan Israel Moscow; photo courtesy Chabad.org/News.

“Gan Israel” – Federation of the Jewish Communities (FJC) network of summer camps – will operate 61 branches, for 5,000 participants, this summer season. Started in 1990 with just a few locations, Gan Israel camps have been hosting a growing number of Jewish children every year in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries across the Russian Commonweatlth (CIS).

Gan Israel camps welcome Jewish children from all backgrounds between the ages of 5 to 15. The camps offer a clean and secure environment for the participants, hot nutritious meals, and a wide variety of physical and intellectual activities, while the tuition is free of charge.

Over 25 years ago, the first few camps were opened in major urban centers such as Moscow, Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk. With every year, new branches opened in smaller cities, some regional. Today, there are 43 day-camps and 18 sleep-away camps in the network throughout the FSU. The camps have gradually began to employ locally trained counselors and young Jewish activists to develop and lead programming and activities.

The Gan Israel network is operated by the FJC in partnership with foundations, philanthropists and other supporters around the world.