Jewish Charity Hurt by Madoff Launches Alumni Fundraiser

SALEM, Mass. (AP) - A charity that financed trips for Jewish youth to Israel but fell victim to Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme is reaching out to alumni to help save this year's planned trip.

The Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation announced Tuesday it was sending out "letters of appeal" to alumni of the trips and their parents in an effort to raise $576,000 by Jan. 23. The group is also launching an aggressive phone campaign.

The foundation had planned to send about 100 teens to its "Youth to Israel Adventure" in July 2009 but lost its reported $8 million to Madoff.

The group had financed the trips for more than three decades.

Madoff was arrested this month in what prosecutors say was a $50
billion scheme to defraud investors.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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