One sip and they were gone

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JESSICA ELGOT

THREE BBYO boys have been sent home from their Is­rael tour af­ter a par­ent al­lowed them sips of his beer.

Ian Kersen said his son Gil sipped his beer on the “fam­ily night” in Jerusalem at the end of the tour, as did his son’s friends Daniel Levene and Ben Fink, de­spite warn­ings that drink­ing al­co­hol would mean an early flight home.

BBYO di­rec­tor Howard Shooter said: “BBYO has a strict pol­icy on drink­ing al­co­hol. Par­ents and par­tic­i­pants sign a con­tract prior to go­ing on Is­rael tour ac­knowl­edg­ing that if their chil­dren drink al­co­hol dur­ing the pro­gramme, they will be sent off the pro­gramme.

“We al­ways re­gret hav­ing to send par­tic­i­pants off the pro­gramme. This was a de­ci­sion made by the UJIA, Is­rael Ex­pe­ri­ence and BBYO to­gether.”

UJIA said that out of nearly 1,900 teenagers, seven had been sent home this sum­mer, five for drink­ing and two for dis­rup­tive be­hav­iour.

Mr Kersen said: “Daniel and Gil are at Im­manuel Col­lege to­gether and go to BBYO at Pin­ner Synagogue. They were re­ally in­volved. They loved it. Now they have been to­tally ex­cluded.”

His son Gil said: “We were pulled away from our friends with­out warn­ing, and we never got to say good­bye.”

Mr Kersen said: “This in­ci­dent has left my fam­ily with such a foul af­ter­taste. The pol­icy is ludicrous over some­thing so small.”

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