Avi Shabbat


As we have done for the past eight years, The Avi Schaefer Fund (ASF) will be offering an opportunity to apply for $200 Avi Shabbat Microgrants for college campuses in North America. This program was created in memory of Avi Schaefer, a remarkable young man and student at Brown University who actively sought to change the atmosphere on campus surrounding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Avi was a change-maker, a bridge-builder, and a doer who exemplified how one person can make a difference.

Avi Shabbats are held in cooperation with either a campus Hillel, other faith-based campus organizations or any official campus organization at colleges and universities across North America. The Avi Shabbat offers an opportunity to bring together students from a wide range of political, religious, and identity divides to share a communal Shabbat meal and conversation focused on either:

  • Promoting open and respectful discourse around Israel and or the Israeli – Palestinian conflict; or
  • Fostering interfaith understanding and cross-cultural encounters.

Avi Shabbats are student-driven and led with support from staff.  This is intended to be an opportunity to empower students to take charge, lead, and create a positive experience on their campus.

Since 2011, hundreds of campuses have participated in this program.  We encourage you to join the movement.

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This year we are continuing two additional opportunities we introduced last year:

  1. ASF Inspirational Grants, to acknowledge and reward exceptionally high quality, creative, and impactful program proposals that work towards bridging divides on your campus. On top of the regular Avi Shabbat $200 Microgrant, ASF will award up to an additional $500 for Avi Shabbat proposals that add something above and beyond – for a total possible grant of $700. 
  2. As a way to honor those who exemplify the qualities that Avi lived, we invite each of you to consider honoring someone on your campus with an Avi Schaefer Seek Peace and Pursue It Award.  Candidates can be students, faculty, or administrators who have stepped out in a public way to make a difference for justice, compassion and peace. ASF will provide a certificate and presentation gift for your honoree – created by Laurie Gross Studios expressly by the Fund.  The Award is to be presented as part of your Avi Shabbat program – OR at another event during the academic year. All Honorees will be also be mentioned on our website, in social media, and in a press release. Nominations should be made in the special section at the bottom of this year’s Avi Shabbat application by February 15, 2019. Names of awardees will be announced on February 15, 2019


Avi Shabbat Micro-grant applications open on October 1, are awarded on a rolling basis and will continue to be accepted until February 15, 2019. However, to have your proposal qualify for the additional ASF Inspirational Grant please make sure to include detailed information about your planned program and budget.

Nominations for the Avi Schaefer Seek Peace and Pursue it Award are due by January 31, 2019.

Grant checks are awarded and made out to Hillels, or other official campus organizations, towards Avi Shabbat programming, food, and other related costs.  If campus staff/professionals wish, they may alternatively use the $200 Microgrant as a stipend, incentive, or award for your student leader/leaders.

Apply Now

Avi Shabbat Requirements: 

  • The Shabbat meal must be called “Avi Shabbat” or have Avi’s name in the title or subtitle.
  • ASF must be listed as a sponsor or co-sponsor of your program/event in all related printed and digital material.
  • You must share Avi’s story at the event either verbally, through the online video provided on our website, or in written form.
  • You must Like ASF on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter
  • You must announce your program on at least two forms of social media, tag ASF and use one or more of the following hashtags: #AviShabbat, #SeekPeaceAndPursueIt, #BridgingTheDivides
  • By May 1st, 2019, campuses receiving grants must submit the following to receive funding. Grant checks will be sent on a rolling basis and mailed as soon as your campus has completed and submitted the below:
    • A short evaluation (ASF will distribute web link in late April)
    • Videos and or photos of the preparations for the Avi Shabbat (e.g. prep meetings, event setup, meal preparation…etc.) and/or of the program itself**
    • Copies of materials listing ASF as a sponsor/co-sponsor of your Avi Shabbat in all related printed and digital material.
    • A short video or written testimonial of at least two students that participated in the meal. (This can be done using an iPhone or Android device or a video camera. These testimonials should be brief and respond to the question, “What was impactful or inspiring about the Avi Shabbat program you participated in?”**

**It is the responsibility of the Jewish campus group or Hillel to get the appropriate approval from the students videotaped or photographed, as these images may be used in future ASF marketing materials.

Avi Shabbat Timeline and Process:

If accepted, you will receive an Avi Shabbat 2019 Confirmation Letter within 1-3 weeks after your application is submitted with a link to your personalized Avi Shabbat Google Folder. This folder will provide resources to help you plan your Avi Shabbat, including “Best Tips and Practices” and a brief reflection survey to be completed after your event. Please upload all testimonials, photos/videos and other materials used at your Avi Shabbat in this folder following your event. Microgrants will be mailed to your campus once we have received your materials. Grant checks will be sent on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to submit all materials shortly following your event.


ASF Campus Grantees Map

ASF Campus Granting Programs engage students and college campus communities across North America- from Los Angeles to Providence, from Calgary to New Orleans and many places in between. Click on the pins below for more information.

marker-purpleA blue flag denotes an Avi Shabbat
marker-greenA green flag denotes an Innovation Grant
marker-purple-newA purple flag denotes an Avi Shabbat & Innovation Grant



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