Photos: Gilboa Dam About to Collapse, Oorah’s Kiruv Camp “The Zone” Saved from Area Flooding


damGolboa, NY – Steady rain overnight created heavy flooding in Schoharie County this morning. There were numerous road closings and power failures,and the Schoharie Reservoir filled rapidly. Sirens can still be heard across Gilboa, NY, as policeofficers, medical personnel and volunteers assist residents in evacuating the area.

A major part of New York City’s Catskill Water Supply System is the Gilboa Dam. The gravity and embankment dam impounds the Schoharie Reservoir, the northern-most reservoir in the Catskill System.

Law enforcement personnel issued a warning moments ago urging residents to evacuate as quickly as possible due to the imminent threat of the dam collapsing and flooding the entire area.

Oorah’s kiruv camp, “The Zone,” is located just minutes from the dam. The Girls Division campus is located in Gilboa, NY, but due to its geographical location on top of a mountain, local officials told that they feel secure that the camp would not be affected by the flooding.  The Boys Division campus is located just ten minutes away and is also expected to be safe from any flooding.madzone

The Oorah campers are being kept occupied indoors and are completely unaffected by the downpours.

“We just completed a Major Shabbos Revolution, getting hundreds of campers to keep their last Shabbos of camp in its totality,” said Rabbi Elli Bohm,  a division head in the boys division of The Zone.  “The Shabbos concluded with hundreds of campers learning with the staff members in the bais medrash, kicking off the annual “Oorah Motzei Shabbos Avos Ubonim program,” which will continue throughout the year in various states across the country, where campers will unite weekly with their devoted staff members coaching them and encouraging them in their progress.

“It was a true kiddush Hashem to watch hundreds of campers learning despite the raging storm outdoors,” said Rabbi Bohm.

becherToday, campers were kept occupied indoors and all those who managed to keep Shabbos were personally awarded a becher by Rav Chaim Mintz, the founder and leader of Oorah. The purpose of the becher is to inspire the campers to continue making Kiddush at home each Shabbos, and hopefully remember Shabbos even upon returning to their non-observant families.

“It is the hope that all our campers’ parents will be inspired as well and will be interested in keeping Shabbos too, acquiring a religious Oorah TorahMate who will help guide them through this process,” Rabbi Chaim Zev Lan, a junior division head in the boys division, told

Oorah’s boys and girls camping seasons for summer 2011 are scheduled to conclude tomorrow.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. How difficult can it be for children to keep Shabbat in its entirety in a totally controlled environment such as an Oorah camp?

    It would have been newsworthy if the children had NOT done so!

  2. the dam is not endanger of collapse the water is retreating all it did was run over the SPILLWAY to elevate pressure as designed
    this dam is owned by NYC and has been checked the alarm was sounded because the excess was running over

  3. I am perplexed by your comment!
    Do u keep shmaris Halashon 24/7 ?
    Why not? Its so easy!
    These kids,many of them never kept shaabas before, this is a great accomplishment!!
    Don’t down play it !!! Be good

  4. #5 you obviously have no concept of what it means to work with not yet frum kids yes even in a frum camp environment its hard for them to fully keep shabbos they turn on lights carry muktzah things so yes its a big deal when they keep SHABBOS

  5. @Perplexed-

    For someone who doesn’t normally keep Shabbos, it can be pretty tough to go through the entire 25 hour period with no electricity or cell phone or whatever one is used to.