The Avi Schaefer Fund (ASF) is dedicated to nurturing Avi’s values of mutual respect and understanding through cultivating opportunities for informed dialogue and by empowering young people to be change-makers in the world.
A successful 2nd Annual North American Symposium was delivered on January 11, 2015, in New York City. Over 230 participants honored Avi’s memory with a day of study and enrichment on the topic: Judaism, Human Equality and the Quest for Justice. For this timely and critical topic, we brought together important scholars such as Professor Randall Kennedy, Rabbis David Ellenson, Susan Talve, Jill Jacobs and Shai Held.
L’shanah tova! We hope your school year is off to a great start! We are excited to announce the 2015 Avi Shabbat and Innovation Grants Program.
We are in our fifth year of our Avi Shabbat program, with campuses across the US and Canada hosting and celebrating together. For those campuses that have participated with us in the past, thank you for your participation and feedback. Apply today and stay tuned for new online resources.
Thank you to everyone who joined us in Santa Barbara at the Gross Schaefer home for our annual “Celebrate Our Growth Open House”. The crowd of about 250 people enjoyed a beautiful day of community, support, and conversation. In the midst of the ongoing heartbreak and violence in the Middle East, the work of ASF and the opportunity to gather as a community are now more important than ever. Thank you to all our supporters who help make our work possible. Sunday’s gathering was an important way to share time together and bring more healing energy into the world.
Yoav Schaefer has been nominated as a “Do-er” — a group of young Jewish people working hard to change their communities — for his efforts to promote peace with the Avi Schaefer Fund.
Please join us on July 20 from 11 am to 2 pm at the home of the Gross Schaefers for our third annual “Celebrate Our Growth” open house. We look forward to seeing you there!
Dear Friends of the Avi Schaefer Fund,
Memories of loss are most present during times of celebration, and tragedy is even more deeply felt in the absence of those whose joy was so often interwoven with our own. We approach the summer months knowing that each time we pass the date of Avi’s birthday, June 11th, we will be reminded anew of the pain of loss. But every year we also celebrate Avi’s life and the legacy of his continued presence in the world through the work of the Avi Schaefer Fund. As in years past, we have been blessed with the opportunity to match your donations in honor of Avi’s birthday. Whether you are a long-time supporter of the Fund or you have not yet chosen to offer your financial support, I hope you will honor Avi’s upcoming birthday with a donation.
Forget, for a second, the struggle for land and power that dates beyond your honored grandparents. Forget the blows you delivered your neighbor, and your neighbor to you. Forget the stories you were taught that the person you’re laughing and breaking bread with is supposed to be your enemy, that you’re supposed to hate them, and that, in this lifetime, either you will win the struggle, or they will.
GVSU’s Muslim and Jewish students sit down together for a meal in peace
Imagine a place where the historical disputes between religions could be set aside — where people with varying opinions could sit down and talk to one another in peace. The Avi Shabbat dinner provided just this for Grand Valley State University’s Jewish and Muslim students on Friday night.
My grandmother tells this story about how a relative of hers who lived in Israel asked her, quite intensely, whether she was an American or a Jew. She didn’t know what to say; why couldn’t she be both?