About Avi Schaefer
Avi Schaefer, z''l, was born June 11, 1988 to Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaefer and artist Laurie Gross. Avi was raised in a loving Jewish home in Santa Barbara, California, with his brothers Noah, Yoav, and Elisha. At age 18, Avi and his identical twin Yoav volunteered to serve as combat soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces. Avi served in the army for three years, first as a soldier in a special forces unit and later going on to train some of Israel's most elite units as a counter-terrorism instructor. Upon completion of his army service, Avi returned to the United States to begin his studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
In his few months at Brown Avi quickly distinguished himself as an accomplished student and a trusted voice for Israel and for peace. Avi gracefully balanced his two passions, championing the Jewish state while simultaneously establishing deep lines of communication with students who held differing perspectives. His life and work were tragically cut short on February 12, 2010, when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver while walking near campus. In just 21 years, Avi became a living testament to the idea that one committed individual can truly make a difference. His example leaves an indelible mark on this world in the lives of the people who knew him, and the thousands more inspired by his legacy of activism and compassion. It is now the task of his family and friends to carry on the work he began.
Remembering Avi »
Latest News From The Fund
Please join us on June 23 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the home of the Gross Schaefers for our second annual "Celebrate Our Growth" open house. We look forward to seeing you there!
The newly installed Interfaith Peace Garden is tucked away in a lovely corner of Loyola Marymount University (LMU), a Jesuit institution that lies mere blocks away from Los Angeles International Airport.
The garden is filled with rough-hewn stone pillars and benches, each carved with quotes that, when taken collectively, reference the need for cultural dialogue and peace in the world. One of the more prominent stones is etched with the phrase, "An enemy is someone whose story you have not yet heard."
(by Julie Bien)
An Interfaith Peace Garden created in the memory of Avi Schaefer, son of Loyola Marymount University Professor Arthur Gross-Schaefer and his wife, Laurie, will be dedicated on Thursday, April 25, at 12:15 p.m.
It says in the Book of Matthew, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God."
This garden is a spiritual space. It evokes the presence of all whose words adorn its pillars and benches. And this garden is a blessing to their memories, as we, in turn, are blessed by their words and their deeds.(Delivered by Rabbi/Professor Arthur Gross-Schaefer, April 25, 2013)