For about ten months of a year, a child is in school and at home, where his teacher and parents combine to mold his personality, hone his character traits and supervise his acquisition of knowledge. However, during the two to three months of the summer, the child is largely left to his own devices, often, this short period can undo all that has been accomplished during the rest of the year.
To remedy this situation, the Rebbe in (1956) founded Camp Gan Israel. The camp has a dual purpose: it would provide a healthy environment; great wide - open space - a great need for children who all year long were confined among closely set concrete buildings and asphalt pavements. Hand in hand with this freedom would be a continuation of the school year, where the Jewish Education and practices would be maintained and enhanced by a crop of dedicated counselors and staff members, draw from the rank of the Yeshvos of Lubavitch. Each camp would be a “Garden” (Gan) of Jewish children. In the spirit of the Jewish people (Yisroel) of old, permeated with the ethos of chossidus and its founder, Reb Yisroel Ba’al Shem Tov.
Under the personal supervision and guidance of the Rebbe, Camp Gan Israel has, over the years, grown in size, numbers of locations throughout the world, and ha lived up to its name and ideals. The spirit of the camp, which is open to every Jewish child, and the devotion and care of camp staff, lingers in the memory of the campers for all time, helping them in their achievement to their heritage and faith.
From the beginning of Am Yisroel, we have used song to thank and praise Hashem for his great mercy and kindness as well as to beseech him for help in time of trouble and distress. When the Jewish people crossed the Yam Suf, leaving the serfdom of Egypt behind them forever, they sang. So, too, when the mighty army of Syria were defeated and destroyed. Dovid Hamelech’s life, his joy and sorrow, his victories and defeats, speak to us from the pages of his Sefer Tehilim. When our history climaxes with the coming of Moshiach, then, too, we will sing.
This songbook contains songs which were written for and sung at different times and in different camps of Gan Israel. It also contains some songs from camps other those organized by Lubavitch.
It is our heartfelt wish that this book brings in some small measure nachas to the Rebbe, Nossi Doreinu and that all the sentiments expressed in these songs are speedily fulfilled and that the Rebbe redeems us from this golus now.
This edition of “The Official Jewish Songbook” is, as you may see, far from complete. It is our plan, b’ezras Hashem, to eventually publish a new, corrected and expanded edition of this book.
For this, however, we need your help. We request of you, to send us any matirial, for inclusion in a future edition.
Please send all items to: