We, the LMU community, have a choice as to who we are and who we will be by how we decide to deal with the complex and highly emotional Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We can choose the path taken by many campuses in North America: a path of demonizing attacks, antagonism and, subsequently, a hostile and polarizing environment. We can choose the path of one-sided programs with clear partisan positions.
“An enemy is someone whose story you have not yet heard.” These words spoke to Avi Schaefer, son of LMU professor of Marketing and Business Law, Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaefer, and encouraged his role as a mediator between Israelis and Palestinians. Schaefer’s dedication to encouraging dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis inspired LMU to erect a memorial in his name – an Interfaith Garden that will be installed beside Drollinger Parking Plaza this school year.
We have been receving wonderful responses from the various Hillels across North America that held a multi-faith Avi Shabbat this year. It was very exciting to see this University award given in acknowledgement of the program at Binghamton’s Hillel. For more details read the related articles below.
At the close of the two-day Israel Conference held at Harvard April 19 – 20, Ambassador Dennis Ross (pictured second from left) announced the winner of the Avi Schaefer Peace Innovation essay competition—Harvard Kennedy School of Government graduate student Joel Braunold (pictured left)—for his proposal on ways that Palestinians and Israelis can work to build trust. The idea for this Peace Innovation competition grew out of the Leadership Colloquium held at Brown University in February and was organized by Harvard students Yoav Schaefer and Nusier Yassin (pictured right and far right).
Israel and Palestine Week’s Events Aim to Spur Dialogue by Heather Szilagyi.
Staff report announcing winner of the Avi Schaefer Peace Challenge at the 2012 Harvard Israel Conference.
Different Hats, One Heart written by Carole Bennett with excerpts from writings by Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaefer.
Harvard Israel Conference: Innovation, Inspiration and a Winning Essay,written by Tamar Shmaryahu.
ASF received a generous grant from the Max & Anna Baran, Ben & Sarah Baran and Milton Baran Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. This grant will enable ASF to continue to build a world that Avi would have built for us.
Penn Dialogue Forum:Confronting Penn’s Unhealthy Discourse, a guest column written by Besan Abu-Joudeh, Cobi Blumenfeld-Gantz, Elie Peltz, Humna Bhojani.