SEPTEMBER 7, 2017 – “Don’t break the chain” was the heartfelt message Lappin Foundation President Robert I. Lappin conveyed to the cohort of teens who went to Israel with the foundation’s Youth to Israel Adventure this summer.
On Sunday, August 27, more than 350 people attended the 2017 Y2I Welcome Home Event at Temple B’nai Abraham in Beverly, which included 109 Y2I teens, their families, a delegation of Israeli teens from the Young Ambassadors School of Petah Tikva, and community members.
The Lappin Foundation honored Jeffrey Robbins with the foundation’s 2017 Y2I Award for his outstanding leadership in the Jewish community.
Robbins, a Boston attorney who specializes in complex civil litigation, including allegations of fraud, First Amendment issues, and claims of defamation, is a former United States delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and a past chair of the New England Board of the Anti-Defamation League. Lappin thanked Robbins for his talents and passion that he gives in service to the Jewish community, noting that he is truly an inspiration for all, especially Jewish youth.
Ray Hanna, president of Christians & Jews United for Israel, was awarded the Foundation’s 2017 Friend of Israel Award. Lappin thanked Hanna for fighting anti-Semitism, the BDS movement, and the vitriolic narrative against Israel that is rising on university campuses all over the US.
“Thank you for standing with Israel and the Jewish people,” said Lappin. “When friends of Israel are in our midst, it is important to acknowledge and thank them, especially those individuals of other faiths who embrace and support Israel and the Jewish people.”
Lappin presented awards to exceptional teens for their leadership and Israel advocacy efforts: Elana Zabar of Swampscott, the 2017 Exceptional Teen Israel Advocacy Award; and Ally Kramer of Beverly and Mason Quintero of Marblehead, the 2017 Exceptional Teen Leadership Award.
“There was a lot to celebrate about 2017 Y2I,” said Lappin. It was the largest enrollment of rising juniors and seniors since Y2I’s first trip in 1971, and more than 50 percent of 2017 Y2I teens are from interfaith families.
“I am deeply grateful for the community’s support of Y2I, which has grown to be our community’s most successful Jewish program for our teens,” added Lappin, adding that Y2I is the answer to Jewish continuity.
In addition to pre-trip Israel educational programs for teens and parents and the two-week, fully subsidized teen trip to Israel, Y2I provides free, post-trip advanced Israel advocacy training for teens and a growing menu of social and volunteer opportunities.
Plans are underway for Y2I 2018. Y2I is open to Jewish teens who are sophomores or juniors in high school as of September 1, and who live in or who are members of a temple in the Lappin Foundation’s service area.