Author Archive

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.

McIntosh Earns National Recognition

Kevin McIntosh, coordinator of Campus Interfaith Resources, was recognized for his work on campus by a national Jewish foundation dedicated to empowering young people.

McIntosh was among 10 recipients of the 2019 Avi Schaefer Fund “Seek Peace and Pursue It” Awards. The Avi Schaefer Fund annually recognizes university students, faculty and staff members who are considered changemakers.

McIntosh was nominated for the award by Allison Egrin, president of Grand Valley’s Hillel chapter. Egrin said McIntosh’s impact on campus has not gone unnoticed.

URI student film on Holocaust to be screened at upcoming events, added to state genocide education

URI Today

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 28, 2019 – A short film on the Holocaust by student filmmakers at the University of Rhode Island will be screened at some high-profile events in the coming weeks –and will become one of the education resources available as part of Rhode Island’s mandated genocide education for secondary school students.

“The Fence Between Us” will get its URI premiere Monday, April 1, at the Norman M. Fain Hillel Center on the Kingston campus. The film will also be shown during the 35th annual Statewide Interfaith Commemoration of the Holocaust on May 1 at Temple Emanu-El, in Providence.

Avi Shabbat Interfaith dinner connected students of different faiths

Central Michigan Life written by Hannah Franco

What do you get when you put students of Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths into a room together?

A lively room filled with laughter, smiles and positive discussion about faith and its meaning to those practicing, according to the Avi Shabbat Interfaith dinner at the Wesley Methodist Church.

Hillel at Central Michigan University co-hosted the Avi Shabbat Interfaith dinner on March 22 alongside the Muslim Student Association and Wesley at CMU.

2019 Seek Peace and Pursue It Award Press Release

The Avi Schaefer Fund (ASF) is proud to announce the recipients of this year’s Avi Schaefer Seek Peace and Pursue It Award, honoring students, academic faculty, staff, or university administrators who have stood up in a public way for peace, justice, and compassion on their college campus. These outstanding campus changemakers share, express, and put into action the values that Avi Schaefer, z”l, lived.

Fostering dialogue through Shabbat dinner

Union College

On Friday, Feb. 8, Hillel and the Muslim Student Association will host the ninth annual Avi Schaefer Shabbat at Union.

“This Muslim Jewish Dialogue Dinner is an amazing event open to students, staff and community members of all faiths and backgrounds,” says Hannah Ellen ’19, Hillel social justice chair, who has helped lead and champion the dinner since coming to Union.

“I’m very grateful that we have this event at Union,” said Uma Kalsoom ’19, co-president of the Muslim Students Association, who has been involved since her sophomore year. “It’s a perfect opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue about relevant world issues that affect both Muslims and Jews.”

Executive director of Hillel at ASU elected president of campus interfaith group

Jewish News written by Jeff Kronenfeld

The Council of Religious Advisors at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus elected Debbie Yunker Kail, executive director of Hillel at ASU, as its new president.

Made up of professionals from campus faith-based organizations, CORA offers member organizations a platform to engage with each other and university leadership. It assists in orientations for incoming students, including more than 40 day-long orientations held throughout the summer, and helps students find religious counseling and volunteer opportunities, as well as holding spiritual awareness fairs on campus. CORA councils exist on each of ASU’s four campuses; the Tempe council is the largest with 31 member organizations, including Hillel, Jewish Arizonans on Campus and Chabad at ASU.

Winners of the Inaugural Avi Schaefer Seek Peace and Pursue It Awards Announced


June 4, 2018 – Santa Barbara, CA – The Avi Schaefer Fund (ASF) is proud to announce the winners of the inaugural Avi Schaefer Seek Peace and Pursue It Awards, to recognize campus changemakers who share, express, and put into action the values that Avi lived. The award honors students, academic faculty or administrators who have stood up in a public way for peace, justice, and compassion on their college campus.

Union recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusion

Union College

Union has again been named a winner of a HEED Award by Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

This marks the fifth straight year the school has been honored by the magazine, which recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Gili Getz’s Forbidden Conversation

Jewish Journal written by Ryan Torok

Writer and actor Gili Getz performs his one-man, one-act play that explores the American-Jewish community’s difficulty with discussing Israel in an honest way. A former Israeli military photographer, Getz stages his performance as part of Avi Shabbat, a Shabbat dinner held on college campuses that honors the life of Avi Schaefer, who served in the Israeli army and was struck and killed by a drunken driver in 2010. A Shabbat dinner and discussion will follow the performance. 6 p.m. Free. Loyola Marymount University, St. Roberts Auditorium.