ASF Funds Partner Institutions
Dear friends and supporters,
We hope that this note finds you and your loved ones well during these challenging and difficult times.
In February, we marked ten years since Avi’s passing. At that time, our family announced that we had made the difficult decision to wind down the programs of the Avi Schaefer Fund. (For those who missed our announcement, you can read it below.) We also shared our plans to disperse the Fund’s remaining resources to institutions which we have identified as ideal stewards of our work in Avi’s memory.
To that end, we are honored and excited to announce that we have selected two institutions to continue the work that we began over ten years ago: Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles and Brown RISD Hillel at Brown University.
We chose HUC-JIR and Brown RISD Hillel because these institutions embody and seek to promote the values which are at the core of the Fund’s mission: mutual understanding and respect. HUC-JIR and Brown RISD Hillel have both been important partners in our efforts to honor Avi’s memory over the years. As a result, we have had the opportunity to cultivate deep relationships with the professionals, stakeholders, and students at these respective institutions. Those relationships have touched our hearts and enriched our lives. We therefore have full confidence that the programs HUC-JIR and Brown RISD Hillel develop with the funds we are entrusting to them will further the values and ideals to which Avi was committed. Indeed, we could imagine no more fitting institutions at which to establish programs in Avi’s memory.
For those interested in continuing to support this work, you can find information about HUC-JIR’s program here or Brown RISD Hillel’s program here. Information about these programs is also available on our website.
As we look back on the past ten years, we feel immense gratitude to the many people who have supported our work. That support not only continues to bring us profound comfort, it has also ensured that Avi’s life and memory will continue to be a source of inspiration and hope in the years to come.
Arthur, Laurie, Yoav, Elisha and Noah
Reflecting on Ten Years of Remembering Avi
Ten years ago, our family suffered a devastating loss. Avi’s death changed all of us, forever altering the course of our lives. We channeled our grief into the creation of the Avi Schaefer Fund in hopes of transforming our pain into action.
We have been truly humbled by the support we’ve received over the years. When we created the Avi Schaefer Fund, we never imagined how the work would grow and how many lives we would touch. Through the Fund’s many programs and initiatives, we built relationships with remarkable young people and worked to promote Avi’s values of mutual respect and understanding across political and religious divides. We are tremendously proud of all we’ve accomplished over the past ten years.
As gratifying and meaningful as the work has been for our family, however, we have made the difficult decision to step away from the Avi Schaefer Fund and wind down its programmatic activities at the end of the current academic year. We are working closely with our board and our executive director to evaluate where to place the remaining funds entrusted to us. We plan to disperse the Fund’s resources to institutions we have identified as ideal stewards of our work, and we look forward to sharing the details of our plans with you in the coming months. As part of this process, we intend to document the impact of the Fund’s programs and activities. We will therefore invite you in the near future to share your reflections and stories about what our work has meant to you.
Our family would like to express our deepest gratitude to the many individuals who have supported our work in Avi’s memory, from dear friends and donors to volunteers and talented professionals. The inspiring young people whom we got to know through our various activities and programs made our work feel both rewarding and significant. We have also been blessed to partner with and learn from a number of outstanding institutions and organizations over the years, including Brown University, Brown RISD Hillel, Hillel International, the Shalom Hartman Institute, and Resetting the Table. Of course, this work would not have been possible without the commitment of our dedicated board, the incredible staff members with whom we have worked, and the leadership of our current executive director, Jill Hoyt. We are forever indebted to you all. Most of all, we are immensely grateful for the wonderful community that embraced our family in the aftermath of Avi’s tragic death and supported our programs in his memory over the past ten years. That support has meant more to us than words could ever convey.
While we continue to grieve Avi’s absence each and every day, knowing that we honored his memory in such a significant way has brought us immense comfort. We hope, too, that our efforts to commemorate Avi have brought some light to a world that far too often feels dark and broken.
With heartfelt appreciation,
Laurie, Arthur, Elisha, Yoav, and Noah