Robert Lappin passed away on April 3 just two years shy of becoming a centenarian.

Lappin was a born-and-bred New Englander; he was born in Salem, Mass., and graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.

And he met his future wife, Mimi Zaiger, in Massachusetts, where they settled down in Marblehead, a northern suburb of Boston. They were married for more than 70 years.

He spent his life working in real estate and manufacturing, but Judaism was his cause.

Lappin, a passionate advocate for Israel and the Jewish people’s right to their land, launched the “Youth to Israel Adventure Program” (or Y2I), which over the course of 50 years has sent thousands of young people to learn about and experience the history of the Jewish people.

He established the Lappin Foundation to strengthen and promote the value and importance of Jewish identity, and over the course of his lifetime, the successful businessman donated more than $30 million dollars to the Jewish community.

The foundation’s director, Deborah Coltin, released a statement honouring its founder: “He believed it wasn’t enough to teach about the beauty of Judaism; people needed the knowledge, tools and the authentic experience of all that Judaism offers.”

Lappin was predeceased by his wife, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 92.

He is survived by their three children, Andy Lappin, Peter Lappin and Nancy Lappin; and six grandchildren.

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