The Jewish community of Kfar Chabad, Israel, mourned the passing Wednesday of resident Rabbi Amos Karniel, who passed away at age 68 after a long illness.

According to those who knew the veteran educator – who despite a debilitating disease that forced him to retire early continued to gather children together to read them stories – Karniel once remarked that the only difference between a carpenter and a teacher is that a carpenter can see the effects of his labor almost immediately. A teacher, on the other hand, must wait 25 or 30 years.

Rabbi Binyomin Karniel, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Gadera, Israel, said that his father certainly took the long view when it came to Jewish education and didn't stop worrying about the community's children after the school day ended.

"On Friday nights, during the break between the Mincha and Kabbalat Shabbat prayer services, he would gather the children together and give them activities so that they didn't get bored," said Karniel. "On Shabbat Mevorchim – the Shabbat preceding the start of a new month – he would get whole groups of children to come to synagogue at 7 a.m. and bring their parents."

Rabbi Amos Karniel was born in 1939 in the town of Givatayim, Israel. His first contact with Chabad-Lubavitch was through a rabbi who came to speak to his army unit during a special evening program. According to his son, the big push toward greater Jewish observance came a little while later when he began to learn the Tanya, the fundamental Chasidic treatise on Divine service authored by the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, of righteous memory, in 1798.

After the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, established the Tzivos Hashem children's organization in 1980, Karniel would pack stadiums with 2,000 children and inspire them with Chasidic tales and stories of the great Jewish leaders.

Throughout the years, he served as principal of various schools in Israel and taught at the vocational school in Kfar Chabad.

His family described him as a humble man who was emphatic in not saying a negative thing about anyone.

"He wouldn't allow such talk in his house," said his son.

Rabbi Amos Karniel was buried in Jerusalem shortly after his passing. He leaves behind his wife Henya Karniel, director of the Beit Chana high school of Nachlat Har Chabad; sons Rabbi Binyomin Karniel and Rabbi Berel Karniel; and daughters Chedva, Nava Gellis, Tamar Wolf, Chana Shachar, Yael Bergman, Tehila Karniel and Nechama Gansburg; and grandchildren.