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Two Jewish Teens Honored for Leadership

Read this story in Wicked Local - Danvers

The Lappin Foundation is pleased to announce its inaugural awards for teen leadership and Israel advocacy. Trevor Brown, 18, of Georgetown, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Youth to Israel Jewish Teen Leadership Award. Andrew Jacobson, 17, of Swampscott, will receive the 2015 Youth to Israel Exceptional Teen Israel Advocate Award.

Both teens are alumni of Lappin Foundation’s 2013 Youth to Israel Adventure. Upon their return from Israel, both young men channeled their passion for Israel and love for the Jewish Family into local projects that are making a significant difference in the lives of North Shore Jewish teens.

Following his summer Y2I trip to Israel, Brown, a senior at St. John’s Prep in Danvers and student body president, attended AIPAC’s Leadership Institute Schusterman Advocacy High School Summit, where he discovered his passion for lobbying elected officials on behalf of Israel. It was during the summit that he learned about B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, the world’s largest Jewish teen youth movement.

Wanting to bring the same sense of fulfillment he found while meeting Jewish teens from all over world at the High School Summit and at BBYO events to the Jewish teens of the North Shore, Brown led the effort to establish a North Shore chapter of BBYO, which is well on its way to a membership of 100 teens.

While excelling in school, Brown is a teaching assistant at his temple, Congregation Ahavas Achim in Newburyport, continues in a leadership role for BBYO, participates in Lappin Foundation’s Teen Israel Advocacy course, and is a regular volunteer for the Foundation. Brown plans to continue his involvement in the Jewish community after high school and grow the passion he carries for Israel and Judaism. Brown often remarks, "None of this would be possible if it were not for my life-altering trip to Israel with Y2I."

Wherever there is a program about Israel, Jacobson can be found manning an Israel Advocacy table, where he proudly displays materials and engages individuals in the need for pro-active Israel advocacy, inspiring people of all ages to step up to the plate for Israel.

Jacobson, a senior at Swampscott High School and alumnus of Prozdor Hebrew High School and the Diller Teen Fellows Program, is a seasoned traveler to Israel, having been to Israel many times with his family and with Y2I and Prozdor, and for a semester during his junior year at the Alexander Muss High School.

Jacobson attended the StandWithUs-MZ Teens Internship program where he learned effective Israel advocacy skills to teach others. He is the co-facilitator in the Foundation’s Teen Israel Advocacy course.

Jacobson is a regular participant in AIPAC programs across the country and is an alumnus of the Schusterman Advocacy High School Summit. Before heading to Brandeis University in the fall, Jacobson will travel to Europe and then to Israel to serve as the first-ever Y2I Teen Israel Advocacy Intern, where he plans to create a model for educating teens while in Israel to be advocates for Israel when they return.

“I am in awe of what these two fine young men have accomplished for our Jewish community,” said Robert I. Lappin, Foundation president.

“Both use their passion and leadership to create wonderful social, educational and Israel advocacy opportunities for North Shore Jewish teens. They will no doubt leave a lasting mark on our community.”

The award ceremony will take place on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2 p.m. at Temple Sinai during the 2015 Youth to Israel Welcome Home Event, which is free and open to all.

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