Y2I teens at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photos courtesy of Lappin Foundation

Y2I postponed until December in wake of Israel-Hamas war

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Y2I postponed until December in wake of Israel-Hamas war

Y2I teens at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photos courtesy of Lappin Foundation

Lappin Foundation has an­nounced that its annual summer Israel trip, Y2I (Youth to Israel) will be postponed until December 2024 because of the ongoing war in Israel and Gaza.

Back in October, in what would have been the height of Y2I’s usual recruitment season for the trip, Lappin’s staff began to consider whether the trip would be able to happen in the summer. After several postponements of information sessions and consulting with other Israel-teen-trip-planners, they made the decision to postpone the summer 2024 trip to Dec. 22-31, 2024.

“We just realized it’s not the time,” said Deborah Coltin, president and executive director of Lappin Foundation. “But what’s great is we are still planning to have a 2024 trip.”

The now-December trip will take place only in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem; the teens will not be traveling to the north, unless significant security concerns are alleviated before December. Staff will monitor the situation at all times, and if needed, they are able to change the itinerary accordingly.

And of course, while the December trip will share much of the content and experiences of previous trips, it will also include programming around Oct. 7 and the ongoing war.

“So much has changed because of Oct. 7,” said Coltin. “The Y2I experience, the Israel experience for the teens, will reflect some of those changes. We’ll spend time talking about what does it mean for Israel? What does it mean for global Jewry? What’s the impact for teens, personally?”

This year, Coltin said, “The Y2I trip will be an insight-seeing journey rather than a sightseeing trip.”

Coltin specified that the trip would encompass Israel and Jewish experience beyond Oct. 7, as well as incorporating programming around the war. “Israel is the manifestation of the legacy of the Jewish people,” she said. “Our legacy is thousands of years old. We can’t just jump into Israel and do it through the lens of Oct. 7.”

For more than 50 years, Y2I has brought about 100 Jewish teens from Lappin Foundation’s North Shore, Merrimack Valley and Greater Boston service areas to Israel each summer for a fully subsidized experience to deepen their connection to Israel, each other and their Jewish identities.

“Israel – it’s their story, it’s the teens’ story,” Coltin said. “We really hope that they will come on this adventure and write their story, and tell their story in how they fit into it.” Θ

Informational sessions for the December Y2I trip will take place in May and June. Visit y2i.org for more information.

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