2019 Avi Schaefer Leadership Retreat Cohort Announced


May 2, 2019 – Santa Barbara, CA – The Avi Schaefer Fund (ASF) is proud to announce the 2019 Avi Schaefer Leadership Retreat (ASLR) Cohort participants. Now in its third year, the annual retreat brings together a diverse group of emerging Jewish leaders from across the US to engage with some of the most important questions facing our community today. This year’s cohort of 12 was selected after receiving nearly 50 highly competitive applications from public policy professionals, journalists, Jewish communal professionals, entrepreneurs and artists among others.

Please join us in congratulating the 2019 ASLR Cohort representing the New York, Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago and New England communities: Sheridan Bahar, Eloise Diaz Bahrmasel, Maia Ferdman, Chelsea Garbell, Evan Gottesman, Suzanne Greene, Ari Hoffman, Meredith Lewis, Danielle Natelson, Vince Pine, Arianna Skibell, Shira Telushkin.

“I am honored to have the opportunity and am excited to join the ASLR 2019 Cohort,” said Eloise Bahrmasel. “As a Jewish Filipina woman, I think about what it means for these two similar but different identities to define my world view and at the end of the day, I recognize they’ve both helped me see the world through a more compassionate lens.”

The ASLR is created for a core group of millennial peers to reflect, study, and engage among themselves and intergenerationally. The program is guided by Avi Schaefer’s legacy, spirit, and values of mutual respect, understanding and the quote “An enemy is someone whose story you have not yet heard”. The program is designed to enhance knowledge, build networks, strengthen and sharpen effective facilitation skills, focusing on how to lead difficult conversations and engage in constructive disagreement.

“This year’s cohort joins the alumni of previous years, expanding ASF’s impact to reach communities and future leaders across the country,” says Jill Hoyt, Executive Director of the Avi Schaefer Fund. “By bringing together individuals with different backgrounds, perspectives, and beliefs, we continue are able to propel our mission and core values of promoting tolerance, civility, and respect for the future leaders of our community.”

The group will travel to Israel this June for a 10-day immersive experience primarily based in Jerusalem, with excursions elsewhere in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The ASLR Cohort participates in its own track as part The Shalom Hartman Institute’s annual Community Leadership Program (CLP) and includes additional and customized sessions and opportunities developed, designed, and provided by ASF. Additionally, ASF partners with Resetting the Table (RTT) to provide a facilitator who participates with the cohort throughout the program. The RTT professional’s role is to facilitate conversations among the group and build their skills and capacity to communicate constructively across differences and divides.

We congratulate those selected for the ASLR 2019 Cohort and thank the dozens of applicants for their interest and commitment to the values of the Avi Schaefer Fund. Each cohort participant will receive a full-expense paid trip to Israel to participate in the ASLR. In addition, there will be opportunities to engage year-round with one another and other ASLR alumni.

A full listing of participants and abbreviated bios is available here.

About the Avi Schaefer Fund
Founded in 2010, the Avi Schaefer Fund (ASF) creates spaces where those with divergent views can engage and listen to each other’s narratives, fostering an understanding of our shared humanity. ASF is dedicated to empowering young people to be change-makers, cultivating opportunities for informed and nuanced dialogue, and creating a culture of civility and optimism.

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