Lapid: Now 27 Organizations and Growing

Last Thursday, Lapid, the Coalition for High School Programs in Israel, celebrated Lapid Day. Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Herzl’s birth, the events were put together by Lapid member organizations in conjunction with Israel Experience, and support from Masa and The Jewish Agency, Israel Phones, Harel and private sponsors. During the day, the 1st Lapid World Jewish Teens Council, held at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel campus in Hod Hasharon, featured workshops and discussion panels led by program alumni and staff.

In the evening, the 2010 Israel Experience and Lapid Youth Festival took place at Park Herzliya with the participation of over 4,000 high school age teens from all over the world and Israel. Participating in the festivities was Natan Janner Klausner, 16 years old, a Netzer participant from London, proclaimed the 500,000th participant to arrive to Israel on a Lapid program. The event was attended by the Minister of Public Affairs and the Diaspora, Mr. Yuli Edelstein and the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Mr. Natan Sharansky, Deputy Mayor of Herzliya, Mr. Yonatan Yasur, Director General of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Mr. Alan Hoffmann and CEO of the Israel Experience, Mr. Amos Hermon. One of the highlights was the performance of Subliminal, a popular Israeli hip-hop group with the event capped off by a fireworks display.

President Shimon Peres sent his greetings in a letter that was read out on his behalf by Matt Grossman (Executive Director of BBYO), wherein he announced, “…when they return to their countries, these youths will now be the best ambassadors of the State of Israel, and will proudly carry with them everywhere, the beauty and moral spirit of our country”.

The abundance of energy generated during the evening was amazing, and a great time was had by all.