The first Avi Schaefer Fund Jerusalem Symposium was held in 2011 to commemorate Avi’s yahrzeit. Over the years, the ASF Jerusalem Symposia have brought together hundreds of participants including American and Israeli Jewish professionals from a variety of organizations, North American students studying in Israel on gap year programs and interested community members.
The Jerusalem Symposia bring together young people to address timely topics of critical interest to the American and Israeli communities. The general format of each symposium includes a series of speakers followed by break out sessions, often involving multiple panelists. This structure provides a unique opportunity for attendees to directly interact with outstanding scholars, political leaders, and recognized thinkers, representing a wide range of perspectives.
The intentional diversity of presenters and participants is matched both by the political spectrum of our partnering organizations and the significant topics explored which have included:
- The Meaning and Purpose of Israel as a Jewish State at the third ASF Jerusalem Symposium in 2013
- Between Judaism and Democracy: Reconciling Israel’s Jewishness with its Democratic Character at the fifth ASF Jerusalem Symposium in 2015.