There are people living on the East End who can trace their roots back for generations. Streets, parks, beaches, and buildings are named for them. Lisa and Richard Israel were not born in Eastern Long Island Hospital. Nor did they graduate from the Greenport School. They came to Greenport in 1986, full grown, married and with a family.
Richard was raised in western Nassau County, and Lisa’s formative years were spent in Pittsburgh—worlds apart from the atmosphere and ambiance of eastern Long Island. And yet, they chose to live in the township of Southold, specifically Greenport. In 1986, they became permanent Greenport residents.
While raising their three sons, Lisa became involved with the Greenport School. Never one to shy away from a task that needs attending, she organized a PTA and ultimately served on the Board of Education for 15 years. With her help and guidance, significant changes within the educational system were made to help benefit every student. After 18 years with the Greenport School she stepped back, saw her sons graduate, and move on but not away. In 1996, Lisa was named Public Servant of the year by The Suffolk Times. She remains dedicated to the field of education and is presently the President of the Board of Eastern Suffolk BOCES.
Richard followed a different path to envelop his newly adopted Greenport hometown. He chose to become active in organizations that supported local communities. The Greenport Rotary has benefited from his membership since 1987. He is also an active participant in a number of other organizations that promote service, volunteerism and selfless acts.
Ike, Richard’s father, was a recreational boater and avid fisherman. Because of this exposure, Richard developed a love and respect for the bays and ocean surrounding his adopted homeport. Support of the newly formed East End Seaport and Marine Foundation was a natural fit for Richard’s community-minded spirit. The rebuilt “Bug” Lighthouse and reincarnation of the Village Blacksmith Shop are examples of that zeal for the betterment of Greenport.
The Israels continue to be deeply involved with the east end of Long Island. Their love of community, generosity of self, family oriented personalities, and promotion of service are qualities to be admired. With great respect and appreciation for all they have done, the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation is proud to name Lisa and Richard Israel our 2017 Maritime Festival Grand Marshals.