This past summer, approximately 100 Jewish teens entering their junior year from across 23 North Shore towns in the Lappin Foundation’s service area traveled to Israel.
Since 1996, the trip has been fully subsidized, though there are $350 program and insurance fees and a refundable $500 deposit, which can be turned into a tax-deductible donation to the Lappin Foundation.
Y2I nearly came to an end on Dec. 12, 2008, when the Bernie Madoff scandal forced Coltin to cancel it, as the foundation lost its $8 million endowment. The money had been invested with Madoff.
The community rallied around the program, and enough money was raised to save Y2I for a trip in 2009 and in the years since.
This summer was the third year that Y2I met up with Israeli Young Ambassadors in what Coltin called a “mifgash.” For Israeli teens, attending the Y2I program is part of their leadership training, Coltin said, and they have to apply and interview to get into the program.
This summer, they all attended a dinner at city hall in Petah Tikva, which included some top Israeli dignitaries. North Shore teens spent four days with their Israeli counterparts, and in that short time, some strong friendships were made, Coltin said.
On Friday, the delegation will tour Salem and visit the Peabody Essex Museum, which will be a source of pride for the group since the most recent addition to the museum was designed by an Israeli-born architect, Moshe Safdie, Coltin said. Coltin said it will be an eye-opening experience for Israeli kids to experience life in a Jewish home on the North Shore.
“I think what they will walk away with is the feeling of community,” she said.
To attend the Hanukkah party, RSVP to the foundation by calling 978-740-4431.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.