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By: Dave Gordon

Menahem Mizrahi found himself fascinated by how many exciting adventures there were to be had in Israel – out of the way fun places to take his children that he’d only hear about through word of mouth.

After several years of family trips and peer group excursions to obscure waterparks, caves, and hiking trails, an idea popped into his head: “Why not give kids outside of Eretz Yisrael the same experience as kids that live in Eretz Yisrael?”

His idea was to create a specialized summer camp experience for teenagers, who would not just have a great time, but would explore parts of our homeland that often go unexplored on typical trips.

Thus Camp Israelwas born – a three-week summer experience for teenage boys, which launches this summer.

“They’re going to go on a lot of fun trips that most people have not heard about before. They’re going to have a great, adventurous time. I thought so many kids would love the chance to trek through the forest, swing across a lake to the other side, bike through the landscape, go camping – have an all-around unbelievable experience,” Mizrahi enthuses.

“I really want to give this experience to people that are never going to ever get this chance unless they live here and they really know what they are doing. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime to get the best summer experience that anybody could ever have.”

Mizrahi, owner of the Jerusalem-based camp, wants to attract like-minded religious teenagers who would interact, forge friendships, pray together, learn Torah, and have fun engaging in kosher activities. By way of example, he cites climbing Masada, going on Jeep rides through the desert, enjoying waterparks and taking men-only beach visits.

“Going to the Mediterranean, the water is soft, it’s warm, it’s see-through, there’s fish in it. You feel like you’re in your bathtub. There are no shells, and no broken bottles. The sand’s like walking on a marble floor,” he describes.

“Another trip we have planned is to the Kinneret in Tveria, going banana boating. They have certain kind of rafts where you lay down on them, and the boat pulls you. And then the raft flies up in the air, holding the kids out there. It’s really, really fun stuff.”

What’s more, the camp comes with an alluring twist: Each day’s activity is kept under wraps until the boys board the bus. “It keeps things exciting,” says Mizrahi. “You know that this will build excitement day to day, and add to the overall fun of the whole camp.”

We wish him hatzlacha raba in this new endeavor and hope that his campers this summer will forge terrific, lifelong memories together.