Despite the many years since Gimmel Tamuz, thousands of Anash and Bochurim come to 770 to spend the Yomim Tovim. Alongside the Bochurim who are the majority, a large group of girls also come under “Achos Ha’tmimim”. There’s also a camp catering to the many young children who come, especially this year – a Shnas Hakhel.
Anticipating the larger numbers of guests as well as families and younger children, Eshel’s response has been to up its game in preparation for this year’s Shnas Hakhel, not only in expanding its operation and services, but also improving the quality and scope of its services, creating a new English speaking division, purchasing 1,500 brand new bunk beds, and working towards a more professional and responsive approach to cater to all the guests’ needs more effectively.
The organization has grown exponentially over the years under the careful directorship of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hendel, and is now a large operation, with over 100 workers and five different department. It serves over 5,000 guests, including Bochurim, Anash and girls from every Yeshiva and community, and is currently considered one of the largest Chesed institutions in the world.
Eshel, in an effort to enhance the quality of its service, has created multiple departments each having their distinct areas of operations. There’s a ‘Gashmius’ Department, which provides nutritious meals each day to the thousands of guests, a Medical Department, which responds to medical arrangements and emergencies, and a Lodging Department, which ensures comfortable sleeping quarters and amenities. Additionally, a robust ‘Ruchniyus’ Department produces fully developed curricula in beautifully arranged booklets, and organizes Farbrengens, seminars and lectures with prominent Mashpi’im and Roshei Yeshiva, and other educational and inspirational events.
Having separate department operating in different areas creates additional coordinating challenges for Eshel. However, with each department focusing on a specific area, the higher caliber quality of care they are able to deliver to the guests make it all worth it.
Providing for all the physical and spiritual needs of 5,000 guests is no simple task, especially with separate boys and girls programs, a children’s camp, and a newly opened English speaking division. However, Eshel isn’t displaying any signs of fatigue, as evidenced by their recently purchased 1,500 brand new quality bunk beds for a more comfortable guest stay. With all the hard work going into such a large operation, the motivation that keeps Eshel going is the fortitude of its director, Rabbi Hendel, who summed it up as such: “We took upon ourselves to take care of the Rebbe’s guests and we don’t draw lines to discriminate”.
The organization, founded by Rabbi Moshe Yeruslavsky, OB”M, in 1972, has received encouragement from the Rebbe throughout the years to serve whom the Rebbe referred to as his “personal guests.”