From Chabad On Line: June 23, 2015

Girls from every background enjoyed a summer of growth and adventure at the Jewish Girls Retreat directed by Rabbi Avraham and Nechama Laber.

In a beautiful 350 acres campus in Hoosick Falls NY, girls from every background enjoyed a summer of growth and adventure at the Jewish Girls Retreat summer program. The theme of the summer camp was “Ready, Set, Grow” and the campers’ growth was clear to see.

At JGR, the focus is to encourage each camper and staff member to grow and ascend higher each day. Every girl expressed her individuality and talents though the creative arts programs and grew in Judaism at her own pace. In addition to Grow workshop, where a Jewish theme is discussed after morning prayers, campers had Tune in Time before dinner, where every staff member was matched up with two or three campers to explore the life lessons in the weekly Parshah. At bunk time at night, campers shared stories and reflected on what they learned from their day. In addition, during rest hour several staff members could be found teaching campers who requested additional learning.

In the teen division, counselors planned a Bat Mitzvah celebration for three girls, Shaina, Iska and Deanna. At age 12, they didn’t even know what a Bat Mitzvah was and today they thanked JGR for being a special place that allows everyone to grow in a warm environment.

Dasi from Alaska shared, “JGR helped me come closer to Hashem and has inspired me in thousands of ways, I can’t tell you how much.” Rosie spoke at the banquet and said, “JGR doesn’t feel like a camp, it feels like home.”

JGR staff were given a variety of workshops to help them grow personally and gain skills for life. Presenters included psychologist and camp mom Carly Namdar, coach Susan Axelrod, directors Nechama and Avraham Laber, graphologist Yakov Rosenthal, team building coach Avi Smus, speakers Rabbi Asher and Sara Esther Crispe and shluchim Rabbi Mendel and Raizy Rubin.

Head Counselor, Chana Sima wrote, “More than I gave, I received. Thank you JGR for all the life lessons and tips that will continue with me for the rest of my life I”YH.” Mushka, a counselor wrote, “I learned this summer to be the best person I can be, using my own talents and strengths. I have grown a lot this summer and I want to thank you so much.”

Nechama Laber, founder and director with her husband Rabbi Avraham Laber, is the daughter of Rabbi Azriel Wasserman of blessed memory who touched the lives of so many in his 37 years on earth.

“My father, a beloved educator, inspired many to grow with his deep love for Hashem and his joyful living each day,” Nechama Laber said. “At his 30th Yartzeit on 4 Av, I am comforted knowing that his legacy lives on at the Jewish Girls Retreat and Jewish Girls Unite, the online community that enables Jewish girls to stay connected after camp. JGU offers many opportunities for girls to continue growing throughout the year by contributing their talents, joining virtual classes, sharing ideas on the safe forum and entering our Shine your Light Contests,” she said.

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