KINGSTON, R.I.- Jan. 30, 2017 – To bring people of all faiths together to share their unique differences and cultures, the Hillel Jewish Student Center at the University of Rhode Island will hold its annual Avi Schaefer Multicultural/Multifaith Shabbat Dinner. The dinner is also the closing event in this year’s URI Martin Luther King Jr. week.
More than ever, ASF’s work – creating a space for respectful and civil dialogue around polarizing issues – has become increasingly important and resonant. Some might say it is THE issue of today.
Our Avi Shabbat Micro-Grant Program brings together college students for a communal meal and shared conversation promoting open and respectful discourse within the Jewish community around the Israel-Palestine conversation, and fostering interfaith understanding and cross-cultural encounters. We invite you and to join our movement to empower young people and apply again – or for the first time – to host an Avi Shabbat in 2017.
We are very pleased to welcome Jill Hoyt as the first Executive Director of the Avi Schaefer Fund (ASF). Ms. Hoyt joins ASF with a rich background in the nonprofit sector and a passion for the mission of the organization. She officially began on September 1st with a focus on evaluating our past and current programs, and is already looking towards the future, shaping the work of the fund in exciting ways.
The Avi Schaefer Fund, along with the world, mourns the passing of Shimon Peres z”l, 1923-2016, a true Statesman of Israel, the Jewish people, and of peace.
“Optimists and pessimist die the same way. They just live differently. I prefer to live as an optimist.” -Shimon Peres.
“I stood by the door of the University of Rhode Island Hillel to welcome people from all cultures, religious backgrounds and denominations into our building, in fulfillment of the time-honored Jewish tradition of hakhnasat orchim, welcoming guests. The occasion was Hillel’s fifth annual Avi Schaefer Multicultural/Multifaith Shabbat, an event that brings students of different backgrounds together for an evening of dining, discussion and dancing.”
“At the University of Oregon, we believe that our power to touch people in our everyday lives is more powerful than any divisive news story, hateful social media post or coward posting bigoted fliers in the night. We embrace our role in creating a warm and inclusive campus for all, including Muslim and Arab communities. This starts with fostering love, respect and community. For example, Oregon Hillel has developed a seven-part series entitled Manzil Midrash (house/study) in partnership with the Muslim Student Association and the Arab Student Union.”
Thank you to those campuses who have participated with us over the past five years. Join us and apply for Avi Shabbat 2016!
Thank you to the campuses across North America who have participated with us in the past! Please join us again in 2015-2016. Apply for Avi Shabbat 2016 and submit a letter of inquiry for Winter Innovation Grants.
We are also delighted to announce a new exciting partnership with Resetting the Table. The Avi Schaefer Fund/Resetting the Table Challenge Grants are available to select campuses that are applying for an Avi Shabbat Micro Grant or an Innovation Grant this coming academic year. In order to apply, the campus is expected to commit to contributing some funds for the implementation of the program. For more information contact us.
2014-2015 was a busy year for the Avi Schaefer Fund and we are excited to share this past year’s successes with you in our latest newsletter edition.