There were a lot of people who put a tremendous amount of work and effort into making this project a reality, literally giving their all to make it more successful than we ever could have imagined. They all collectively carried this to a whole new level, and we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to each of them. Though there’s probably not enough space here to properly thank everyone, here goes:
Obviously as everyone knows, it all starts with Hashem, and we all saw so clearly how he guides us every step of the way in everything we did and continue to do. Thank you for everything you give us, and a special thank you for the fact that this somehow made it to Chaim as a surprise (at least we hope so).
Now for people: for starters, thank you to Yaakov Mordechai Gerstner for completely dedicating yourself to producing this in the most beautiful way possible, putting in countless hours of work, working way overtime, all the while putting up with us with a smile as we continued to drive you crazy. You did an unbelievable job- we could never have expected this to come out anywhere near this amazing. I’m so happy we decided to do this with you.
Thanks to Eli Gerstner for letting us use your studio, for accommodating the times we wanted, and for putting in all the work you did finishing this, a LOT more than would ever have been expected, patiently going over this over and over to make sure it sounded exactly the way we wanted. You really put this production on an absolutely insane level. Thanks for the drums- they sound absolutely fantastic!
Thank you to Meir Frishman and the Camp Agudah Office for your major assistance in allowing this to happen, and for running the greatest camp on the planet, without which our lives would not be the same, as this song expresses so well.
Thanks to the head staff for being the head staff. And for working so hard to make camp what it is to all of us.
Special thanks to Nati Gurwitz for all your invaluable advice throughout the process, for always being available to patiently break down any questions or issues that came up. I don’t know what we would have done without you.
Also thanks to everyone else who contributed their many capabilities to provide ideas, insight, and support in so many ways (there’s not enough space here to fully acknowledge all the help they provided, but I hope we can somewhat show our appreciation for them): Obviously, it all starts and ends with the legendary (Rabbi) Tuli Abramczyk. Now for everyone else: Doni Gross, Yiddy Stroli, Devora Rubin, special shoutout to Ari Scheff :), quite the major shoutout to Rabbi and Mrs. Lowenthal to put it mildly- and that’s still an understatement, Mr. and Mrs. Frank, Mr. and Mrs. Krasnow (the other ones), Rabbi Urbach, Eli Schlosser, Dovi Feigenbaum, Zevi Goldschmidt, the great Rabbi/Doctor Avraham Chaim Perlman, the other doctor-known to us mortals as Dr. Shuey, the mighty Yoyseful (great speakers), required s/o to Meir Frank will be for being a great chauffer (you helped a lot too), of course Yaakov Lowenthal, Eli Serebrowski, Aaron Mattisyahu Herzberg (who?) (yeah that’s his name) for trying so hard to tell Chaim about this, Jay Lax and the great people over at cakosherhock (that being Jay Lax), the studioless former greatest JC future greatest counselor Yehuda Lowenthal, Mo Berger, Avi Gelfand, Aryeh Gelbard, of course MORDY, YFR, all the people who hosted meetings, Quality Carpet, anyone else who provided food, everyone who somehow found out about this and kept it a secret, and a GIGANTIC SHOUTOUT TO THE 12TH GRADE OF YTV, as well as everyone else in Camp Agudah.
Aaron Eliezer, the cover photo is amazing, you’re so good at this we didn’t even have to drive you that crazy in the end (we did anyway because that’s what we do, but we didn’t have to ;) (sorry)), thank you so much. The Kensington Graphic has a bright future. #KensingtonOfManhattan
Obviously, you can’t have a song without vocalists, and we had the absolute best that Camp Agudah has to offer. Thank you to all of you for agreeing to lend your amazing gifts to this:
Thanks to Yehuda Aryeh, a 1st time CA production member, for spending so much time learning these songs, having never been at a CA Grandsing before (iy”h that’ll be changing soon!), and for coming back to the studio again on such short notice. You absolutely dominated.
Thanks to Gavriel Ganger for taking time out of your busy schedule :) to come in from Passaic to be on this, for being so easy to get through to :0 (Not your fault, I know), & for being totally amazing. Thanks to your father for driving you in.
Thanks to Michael/Mickey/Whatever you wanna call yourself Weingarten, for somehow making time out of your insanely, over the top, way too busy schedule to record when I don’t know how you can even stand to see the inside of a studio anymore. Thanks for almost destroying your voice for us, & for giving us a thumbs up every time we felt left out on the other side of the glass. Your voice is very average (is that overkilled?). I hope you had fun :) seriously you were fantabulous.
Thanks to DJ Michaeli for being willing to quit your job for us (he didn’t but I’m sure he would’ve if necessary) and for providing your valuable insight, brilliant ideas, and for bringing your amazing talent and fun personality to the studio. You truly were “harmony deficient” :)
Thanks to Shlomo Zalman Greenberg for making yourself so flexible, for coming in from Passaic, and for enhancing this recording with your golden voice. I’m so glad we were able to get it to work out, it would not have been the same without you.
Thanks to Menachem Kramer for jumping into this project right from the beginning with such enthusiasm, for helping us throughout the process aside from doing such an amazing job in the studio, and for being 2nd in command harmony deficient.
You guys all sound amazing and were a real pleasure to work with. I really enjoyed every second, and I hope you did too thank you so much. Special shoutout to the parents- Mr. and Mrs. Weingarten, Mr. and Mrs. Ganger, and Mr. and Mrs. Aryeh for giving us the opportunity to do this and allowing our schedule and sometimes late hours to work.
(We interject with a special shoutout to the great Izzy Krasnow who contributed his unique and amazing talents to making this sound as beautiful as possible, and for writing the added lyrics to song 6. They’re amazing and they really bring out the message of the song. We can’t wait to see you lead the Grandsing this year. Special thanks for coming in to the studio on that day you weren’t feeling well. There’s honestly no way this project ever could’ve gone anywhere without you. Sorry you couldn’t do the drumming on this :( maybe next time :) (next time? #nexttimeindeed) you’re the best! Thanks for all the times you managed to keep this quiet ;p)
(We interject again with a massive shoutout to the legend himself, the eminently talented Aron Lowenthal for everything he did to keep this project running, which is basically everything. Enough said.)
To anyone we may have left out, well, y’know…I’m sure you’ve all seen this apology note enough times already. Give me a call and I’ll try to make it up to you.
Lastly, thanks to all the campers and staff of the greatest camp in the world, Camp Agudah, for making camp what it is, and for being such an amazing group. We hope you all enjoy!
Eliezer Frank, Aron Lowenthal, and Izzy Krasnow
And now for our main thank you…
Anyone who has been in camp over the last 6 summers has felt the impact of Chaim Fogel, who over the course of his time leading the Grandsing, has elevated the very concept of songwriting to a level that’s almost unimaginable. So many of us can literally say that his songs have changed our lives. It’s hard to put into words how much the many life lessons of each of his theme songs mean to all of us, and continue to inspire us in so many facets of everyday life. How much we were all moved by the beauty of all the studio recordings. How he helped us clearly express our impossible to explain feelings for camp and everything it is to us through his Alma Maters. Chaim, you might’ve thought CA productions were over, but it’s not. This is our way of saying thank you for everything. Hope you enjoy!
The Camp Agudah Boys
Produced By: Camp Agudah (CA Productions)
Music Produced, Mixed, and Mastered By: Yaakov Mordechai Gerstner and Eli Gerstner (@ EG Studios)
Keyboard: Yaakov Mordechai Gerstner
Drums: Eli Gerstner
Vocals By: Yehuda Aryeh, Michael Weingarten, Gavriel Ganger, and Shlomo Zalman Greenberg
Adult Choir: DJ Michaeli, Menachem Kramer, and Shlomo Zalman Greenberg
Vocals Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by: Yaakov Mordechai Gerstner and Eli Gerstner (@ EG Studios- Brooklyn, NY)
This song is a medley of the 6 Alma Maters led by Chaim Fogel, and originally sung at the Camp Agudah Grandsing between 2010 and 2015.
Song 1 (2015): You Can’t Explain (TTTO Boi Kallah, Miami Boys Choir- Ut Ut)
Song 2 (2010): Here We Stand (TTTO Hearts of Gold, Solid Gold 3)
Song 3 (2011): Arm in Arm (TTTO Piano Boy, Baruch Levine-Touched by a Niggun)
Song 4 (2012): So it’s Time to Close Your Eyes (TTTO Deaf Man in the Shteeble, Country Yossi)
Song 5 (2013): True Friends (Chaim Fogel)
Song 6 (2014): Dearest Agudah (TTTO Menucha V’simcha, Menucha)
Lyrics By: Chaim Fogel
Added Lyrics to Song 6 By: Izzy Krasnow
The added lyrics are not from the original alma mater and are written to be a thank you from all of us in camp to Chaim for everything he’s done and all the lessons he’s taught us.
Cover Design: Aaron Eliezer Pilchik (email@example.com)