‘Tzitzis Challenge’ Sweeps Across CGI Summer Camps

The “Tzitzis Man Challenge,” a riff off the popular “Dancing Man Challenge,” is sweeping across Gan Israel camps across North America, in which the boys proudly wear their Tzitzis while performing a unique dance and then challenge the boys of another camp to follow.

From the CrownHeights.info inbox:

My name is Yakov Zikvashvili, and I am the head counselor of Camp CGI of TMR VSL & DDO. As we complete another successful year of camp, I want to share my summer experiences as a head counselor, and the experiences that the staff and I shared with the children this summer.

These kids come from many different homes and backgrounds all over Montreal. Many of which do not have any form Judaism at all. Coming to CGI is a big deal for many of these kids, it is a life changing experience. From wearing Yarmulkas and Tzitzis, to learning about Shabbos and the importance of Kosher, these kids acquire new concepts of Judaism that inspire them and causes them to change not only themselves but, in many cases, even their parents.

I hope that you remember the “Girl Who Kept Her Part of the Deal” article. Alexia did not light Shabbos candles, and because of a little bag of popcorn, and a deal with the staff, she began lighting Shabbos candles at home very week sine. We also have a boy that had no affiliation with any concept of Yidishkite at home at all. His mother sent him to CGI for a “try out” for only two days, and the boy stayed for the rest of the summer learning about Shabbos, Kosher, Tzitzis, and the Pesukim. And when the last day of the summer came, he cried that he did not want to leave the staff or the friends he made in camp. The only thing that made him calm was the fact that he would be able to keep his pair of tzitzit that he received in camp. These are just a few examples of the many stories that happened in our camp and CGIs all over the world.

I will also like to share another cool experience that took place in our camp and in many of the CGI camps around the country. It is called the “Tzitzis Man Challenge.” Taken from the “Dancing Man Challenge,” the boys, in one camp, proudly wear their Tzitzis, and perform a unique dance while showing off their garment. After their presentation, they nominate another camp to do the same until every CGI completes the challenge. Below is a video that we made after being nominated by CGI of the Valley in California. We performed our dance and nominated CGI of Highland Park and CGI Mamosh in Florida for the challenge.

As the reader can see, the experiences and the stories that are made in Gan Israel, all over the world, are endless.

As a head counselor, I learned a lot from these kids. The experiences and lessons that I gained from these kids will stay with me for the rest of my life. The children that came into camp the first day are not the same kids that walked out of camp the last day. And it’s all thanks to the dedicated staff of CGI. As I always say, “One cannot be a captain without sailors.” These “sailors” are the dedicated staff of CGI. These boys gave up their time and energy of doing something else and traveled across the world to inspire kids with a sense of love towards Judaism. These boys not only changed the lives of so many kids but these kids changed my staff as well. Making them more mature and giving them a better understanding of the crazy world we live in. Seeing the challenges children face every day, and the breakthroughs they make despite all odds. I want to thank Motti Jacobson from Des Moines, Iowa, Shneur Cohen from Miami, Florida, Raf Mihalovich from Melbourne, Australia, Mendel Grossbaum from Livingston, New Jersey, Levi Wise from Monsey, New York.

But camp would not have been possible without the committed and dedicated Sheluchim of Montreal. TMR, VSL, & DDO are the three Chabad houses in Montreal that are involved with the camp. Rabbi and Mrs. Krasniansky of Chabad of TMR, Rabbi and Mrs. Silberstien of Chabad of VSL, and Rabbi and Mrs. Fine of Chabad of DDO. These Sheluchim are three of the many couples, in Montreal, that commit themselves to teaching Judaism, and spreading the Rebbe’s message here in Canada.

I would like to finish off thanking Hashem and the Rebbe for the great success that camp had. In a time in our history that the world seems dark and lost unknowing what will be tomorrow, we can take the experiences and stories from camp and realize that all is not lost. Judaism is strong and well, and even in the most remote of homes, not so actively involved with any Judaism, the Rebbe effects the lives of those that come into contact with his Sheluchim. As former President Goerge W. Bush said, “Chabad saves lives.”

Sincerely yours,

Yakov Zikvashvili

Video by MG InFocus

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One Comment

  • 1. Goose bumps! wrote:

    I am so inspired by these young staffers, AND by the children of CGI!!!!!

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