Joshua Chmara

Josh Chmara, who lives in New York City but spends a lot of time in his native Marblehead, joined Lappin Foundation as a board member because he wants to ensure that Bob Lappin’s legacy carries on and continues to enhance the Jewish community of the North Shore l’dor v’dor (from generation to generation).

As a teen, Bob Lappin’s generosity and vision inspired Josh, who is a private credit investor and real estate developer. Josh continues to look to his example of what defines success, which to him means leaving an indelible mark on a community across generations. His deepest concern is that his Jewish peers, and as a result, their children, will distance themselves from their Jewish identity. “How can we reverse this trend? How can we encourage young adults and young families to be proud to be Jewish? These are problems Lappin Foundation is equipped to solve,” he said.

Lappin Foundation programs have impacted Josh since he was a child. His 2009 Y2I trip, his first time in Israel, forever strengthened his Zionist beliefs and connection to Judaism. He remembers the spark and excitement about Israel and about being Jewish when he returned from the trip. He plans to focus on maintaining Y2I alumni involvement during his time on the board, kindling this energy over the next two years of high school and through college.

Josh is involved in numerous Jewish philanthropies and social groups in NYC, but focuses nearly all his annual tzedakah on Lappin Foundation. “The Foundation is agile and continually adapts to our community’s needs. It fills a void by supplying the Jewish experience for young families, teens and adults. Most importantly, it is able to rally the community around a cause when there is a dire need,” he said.