Ahavat Yisrael: Haredi Civic Education - To develop ahavat yisrael (love of all Jews) within the haredi community through programs and activities in the haredi educational system.
AVI CHAI Prize: An annual prize to recognize outstanding efforts by individuals who increase understanding and sensitivity among Israelis of different backgrounds and commitments to Jewish observance.
A list of previous AVI CHAI Prize winners can be found in the Annual Reports section.
AVI CHAI Siddur: A user-friendly and readable siddur, developed by AVI CHAI, and published in two volumes for the home and Shabbat, for Israelis with little or no background in its contents or prayer.
AYALA Judaism and Democracy: Program to instill commitment to Judaism and democracy in state religious and non-religious schools.
Beit Morasha of Jerusalem: Prepares religious men and women for communal and educational leadership roles. Beit Morasha‘s educational program, with a total of over 160 post-BA students, integrates both yeshiva and academic approaches to Jewish scholarship so as to develop graduates capable of forging a common language and understanding between the secular and religious worlds.
BINA - Center for Jewish Identity and Israeli Culture: The establishment of two batei midrash, one for young adults, and the second, a communal beit midrash for secular and religious high school students.
Course for Russian Immigrant Teachers: Yad Ben-Zvi: Continuing education course in the history of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel for 3,000 Russian immigrant teachers serving in the Israeli school system, offered by Yad Ben-Zvi at locations around the country.
Culture and Identity: The use of various media as a trigger to bring together groups of high school students from state religious and non-religious schools to discuss relevant Jewish issues and to engage in a dialogue about ideology and values.
Eretz Acheret: A bi-monthly magazine that focuses on diverse perspectives regarding Jewish culture and contemporary Israeli life. Eretz Acheret provides often unconventional, but always in-depth perspectives on the Israeli-Jewish experience.
Eretz Hemdah Institute: Rabbinic Court Judges. A seven-year study program originally focused on preparing graduates of yeshivot who have served in the Israel Defense Forces to be rabbinic court judges (dayanim). They later broadened this toward other rabbinic roles as well.
Forum for National Responsibility: To disseminate widely a new national vision for a Jewish and democratic state that serves as a basis for fostering a more vibrant and cohesive Israeli society.
Guttman 2000: To conduct a study of Israeli Jews, similar to the 1993 sociological study, “Beliefs, Observances, and Social Interaction of Israeli Jews.”
Guttman 2010: Over the past two decades, AVI CHAI commissioned two comprehensive surveys of Israeli Jewish society by the Guttman Institute, one in 1993 and a second in 2000. These surveys, considered by experts to be the most thorough studies of their kind, provided the Foundation and the general public with a detailed picture and analysis of the beliefs, observances, and social interactions that characterize Israeli Jews.
HaMaslul: A program that combines army service, Jewish studies, and educational training.
Haredi Center for Technological Studies: To provide support for professional training within the haredi community in order to promote AVI CHAI’s agenda of mutual understanding.
Haredi College of Jerusalem: AVI CHAI’s funding enabled the college to provide scholarships to haredi women, enabling them to acquire an academic education that will facilitate their integration in, and interaction with, the wider Israeli society.
Hartman Jewish Educational Empowerment: A program of teacher training and classroom support to revitalize Jewish studies in state high schools, with high schools associated with the Shalom Hartman Institute participating. The Hartman Institute develops educational materials recommended by the Ministry of Education, and offers enrichment programs for school principals, intensive training courses for teachers of Jewish studies, and pedagogical support for teachers in schools.
Hevruta TV Pilot: A television pilot intended to demonstrate the value and relevance of Jewish text study.
Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv: An AVI CHAI grant, matched by the Tel Aviv municipality, which provides support for the enhancement of Jewish studies in Tel Aviv’s school system. The program takes a multi-stage, process-oriented approach to working in schools, tailoring its efforts to the profile and needs of each school.
ITIM - Jewish Life Center for FSU Olim: To establish a center for information, consultation, and support on issues relating to the Jewish life-cycle for olim from the FSU.
Jewish Encyclopedia in Russian: Development of an updated version of The Jewish Encyclopedia in Russian (JER) on the Internet. The JER represents a mammoth 25-year effort, recently completed by the Society for Research on Jewish Communities, to produce an 11-volume Jewish encyclopedia for the Russian-speaking public. The Society’s vision is to preserve the Encyclopedia as the most authoritative Russian-language source on Jewish studies, the history of the Jewish people, and the State of Israel.
Journey to Jewish Heritage: A program to acquaint and connect Israelis to their common Jewish heritage via the study and recording of Jewish historical sites in the Diaspora. The program brings together university students from various disciplines, beginning with preparatory sessions, and culminating in study and preservation work in a Diaspora community.
Kehillot Sharot: A program to foster “singing communities” that bring together diverse audiences to experience, celebrate, and deepen their connection to Jewish culture via Jewish music, especially piyyut (liturgical poetry). Participants in kehillot sharot study selected liturgical pieces, led by traditional paytanim (singers of liturgical poetry), musicians, or writers, and learn to sing piyyutim.
Keshet School: A K-12 school for religious and secular students, committed to learning about and respecting diverse approaches to Jewish life. Keshet is one of the only schools in Israel where the program and staff comprise an equal balance of religious and secular.
Kfar Blum and Hakhel Jewish Culture Festivals: The study and celebration of Israeli Jewish culture for large, diverse populations via two annual festivals. The Hakhel Festival, held annually during Sukkot, and the Lo Bashamayim (Not in Heaven) Festival at Kfar Blum, represent two large-scale public events, which attract thousands of participants each.
L'aila: To create an educational center for Jewish culture and heritage in the Upper Galilee.
Learning Community: A program designed to facilitate the creation of learning communities for non-religious Jews who wish to study Judaism, and find ways to express their Jewishness that are congruent with their values and beliefs.
Maale Media Dialogue: To bring together religious and secular faculty, students, and alumni from Maale and other media schools to engage in joint study and media productions.
MaTaN Talmudic Institute for Women: To develop a program of advanced Talmud and halacha for women.
MAPAT: A framework of programs for Russian-speaking families based on themes of Jewish identity and Israeli society and history. MAPAT Family Programming (MFP) was established with the help of the New York Federation to address the generational gap that exists between the majority of Russian-speaking parents, who are disconnected from their Jewish heritage, and their children who are continuously exposed to it in Israeli schools.
Melitz Center for Jewish-Zionist Identity: A general support grant to enable Melitz to conduct various Jewish-Zionist educational initiatives.
Melton Maftechot: A two-year course on Jewish literacy for secular Israeli adults.
Merchavim - Shared Citizenship Kit for Haredim: Development of an educational kit on “Shared Citizenship” for the haredi educational system.
Meretz Rabbinical Training Institute: Nahariya: Graduates of the Meretz (Jerusalem) rabbinic training program and their wives staff an educational center (Merkaz Torani) in Nahariya that teaches supplementary classes in local elementary schools, offers weekly lectures and seminars for adults, conducts continuing education courses for local teachers, and develops special holiday-oriented programs and materials for Nahariya and surrounding towns, moshavim and kibbutzim.
Mivchar: Jewish Heritage in Junior High Schools: A curriculum developed by the Center for Educational Technology (CET) for instruction in Jewish culture and thought in the state (non-religious) junior high schools.
Oranim: Project Ofek: “Education for Jewish Commitment”: a comprehensive plan for integrating Jewish subjects into the training of teachers at this leading School of Education.
Parashat HaShavuah: A curriculum in state junior high schools that introduces students to the weekly Torah portion. The program enables students to become familiar with perspectives relating to Jewish tradition and culture, and acquainted with texts from the classical “Jewish bookshelf,” while raising issues relevant to the students’ own world.
Pirkei Avot: AVI CHAI, through Yedioth Books, published Pirke Avot: A New Israeli Commentary, edited and with commentary by Prof. Avigdor Shinan. Pirke Avot is a collection of aphorisms regarding wisdom and ethics by dozens of sages. The AVI CHAI publication is intended to encourage Israeli Jews to adopt Avot as a basic household text.
Psychology in Judaism: A program for “helping professionals” (psychologists, social workers, and school counselors) and other interested individuals to deepen their understanding of Jewish sources so as to apply a Jewish perspective to their lives and moral decisions and enhance their personal growth.
Public School Text Analysis (The Image of Jews and Judaism - Shalem Center): An examination of the image of Jews, Judaism, and Zionism as presented in school texts used in Israeli state (non-religious) high schools.
Radio Reka: A program, in partnership with the Open University, to provide high quality courses on Jewish and Zionist content to Russian-language radio listeners.
Sabbaticals: A year-long program to support outstanding professionals with proven leadership ability and initiative, engaged in AVI CHAI’s fields of interest, in order to advance their professional and personal development. Click here for a list of Sabbatical recipients.
Sephardic Rabbinic Training: To establish a rabbinic training program that will produce modern Zionist spiritual leaders in Israel of Sephardic background, with an emphasis on the traditional Sephardic interpretation of halacha and religious custom.
Shenhar Watch: Monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the Shenhar Commission regarding Jewish Studies in the state (non-religious) school system in Israel.
Shorashim: Israel Defense Forces (IDF): Program to increase understanding and commitment to Judaism and Zionism among IDF officers.
Small-Grant Initiatives for Olim: AVI CHAI has provided small grants for selected ideas with the potential of evolving into meaningful educational programs for Russian-speaking olim.
Speaking Poetry: An Israeli Jewish culture program for university students, centered around piyyut and midrash. Piloted at Hebrew University in partnership with Beit Hillel, the program expanded over the years to additional campuses. The program comprises monthly public events for the general student population, alternating between study and song sessions devoted to piyyut and midrash, and larger public concerts that feature first-rate paytanim (piyyut singers), popular singers, and student interpreters of Jewish texts.
Tzohar: Orthodox rabbis dedicated to revitalizing the role of the rabbinate in Israeli society by engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the secular world. Tzohar began with halachic weddings adapted for secular couples. More recently, Tzohar has been engaged increasingly in efforts to counter trends of extremism within the religious Zionist community by espousing values of tolerance and dialogue.
Tehuda: A program for training professional Israeli Jewish educators and communal leaders, fluent in Jewish texts and committed to study that leads to social action.
Values and Current Events: A program developed by the Van Leer Institute primarily for state schools to study current events and relate them to Jewish sources.
Van Leer Secular Judaism Forum: A year-long forum that operated within the Van Leer Institute to examine the essence and directions of contemporary secular Judaism in Israel; the group sought to understand and encourage public discussion about the cultural and social processes affecting secular Jewish life.
World Congress of Jewish Studies: Judaism and Democracy: Support for publication of the proceedings from a panel discussion on “Israel as a Jewish Democratic State” held as a special evening session of the 12th World Congress of Jewish Studies on August 1, 1997.
Yad Ben-Zvi Bible Curriculum: A Bible curriculum for 4th 5th, and 6th graders in state elementary schools representing a curricular platform from which to learn geography, literature, science, language, and related subjects, and to explore values and issues relevant to the students.
YAHALOM: Promotes parent-child study and activities related to Jewish sources, within the framework of state elementary and junior high schools. YAHALOM began as a program of after-school sessions for parents and children in schools with significant immigrant populations and grew to include similar programs for “veteran” school populations, as well as learning communities of families who meet monthly, and summer programs for families.
Yesodot: To promote the values of democracy and tolerance within the religious community via the state religious school system.
Yiud: A program of Jewish Studies and pedagogic training to prepare young women to teach Jewish Studies in state schools as part of their National Service (instead of army service).
Yiud V'yichud: IDF Center for Jewish-Zionist Identity: To realize a comprehensive Jewish-Zionist educational program in the IDF.
Zichron Yaakov: A Pilot Jewish Community: To enhance Jewish content for the secular Jewish community in Zichron Yaakov, a city of 10,000 residents between Caesarea and Haifa, with a growing population of young professionals and FSU olim.