Jason, 14, of Vacaville, Calif., went to L’man Achai this summer. What happened there changed his life.
In a heartfelt message to his counselor, 14-year-old Jason, of Vacaville, Calif., expressed his thanks to Camp L’man Achai for an opportunity that meant so much to him.
“Do you remember when we wrote those letters to the Rebbe on Thursday night? You didn’t know this, but around February of this year, my aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The doctors gave her a year to live. In the letter to the Rebbe, I asked that she should have a speedy recovery if I were to do the Shema every night. I did the Shema every night since then.
“I didn’t know this at the time, but my aunt had a checkup on her cancer Shabbat morning, two days after we wrote the letters. The doctor came up to her and he said: ‘We can’t find your cancer anymore; it’s gone.’ I think that’s obviously a miracle, thank G-d.”
“I just want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to write to the Rebbe because I really feel like it saved my aunt’s life.”
Jason is one of the hundreds of campers whose lives were transformed over the summer at L’man Achai.
“I have sent my son Jason to Camp L’man Achai for the past two summers to experience Judaism from a totally different perspective,” says Jason’s mother, Alyson.
“Living Judaism, daily study with the rabbis, recreation with his peers and counselors, and the independence from his family are powerful experiences for a young man entering adulthood. Jason loves going and looks forward to next year!”
From all over the country, campers of all backgrounds come to L’man Achai. They learn to enjoy mitzvot, appreciate davening, to be a mensch.
“I must say that each time I sent children there, they came back so excited about Yiddishkeit,” says Rabbi Dovid Labkowski of Chabad of Briarcliff-Ossining, N.Y. “It really was a good move for each of the children we sent there.”
“It’s a genuinely Jewish camp experience and a genuinely American one as well,” says camp director Rabbi Yitzchok Steinmetz. “Campers play baseball and football; they go canoeing and fishing. They craft pottery and learn outdoor survival skills. There are bivouacs and bonfires and Color War and talent shows; in short, it offers everything an American kid loves about camp.”
And everything a Jewish kid will learn to love.
“We have had great experiences with them, especially when it came to kids who are completely not frum and don’t have the funds to attend a camp away from home,” says Rabbi Nachum Kurinsky of Chabad at the Beaches in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., “It literally changes some kids’ lives. The camp staff also work closely with shluchim, so there is nice follow-up and continuity.”
The camp makes every effort to ensure the spiritual growth of its campers while catering to campers who aren’t necessarily frum. L’man Achai spares no expense in ensuring that campers have the best summer of their lives and goes out of its way to ensure that boys from homes with limited means can join.
Eric Schneider sent his son to Camp L’man Achai and says the place is an absolute gem. “The campers’ spirits are fed with fun and adventure, and their souls are nurtured with amazing learning and goodness.”
The staff at L’man Achai, Schneider relates, are phenomenal and caring. “Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for the profound impact this summer had on our camper.”