New York prison to get new life as a summer camp

A former prison in New York, is being converted into a summer camp for Orthodox Jewish boys.

Camp Gabriels, a 336-bed minimum security prison on 92 acres in Adirondack Park, was closed by the state as a result of budget cutbacks in July 2009. Prior to the prison opening in 1982, it was a tuberculosis sanitorium that was later used as part of nearby Paul Smith’s College.


Rabbi Eli Hersh, who plans to open his Camp Hamachane on the property, purchased the property in an auction with partner Adam Fine last fall. Hersh started the camp eights years ago and has held it in several locations in New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and North Carolina.

He outlined the plans for the seven-week camp at a public meeting for the project earlier this month, as reported by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

“Camp Hamachane’s goal is to be able to get these boys a relax-ful summer after a very hard year, to be able to be a springboard for the upcoming year, that they should be able to produce religiously, educationally, mentally on a higher level than the year before,” Hersh was quoted saying the article.

Read more of the article HERE.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

Leave a Response