Current AVF Grantees

2020 N. American Grantees:

Syd Bakal (‘17) — Tiftach: Sharing and Innovating Jewish Music

An album of original Jewish music by Syd Bakal.

A new album of Jewish music by Syd Bakal, paired with one or more virtual Jewish singer-songwriter events and possible in-person music performances, circumstances permitting. All profits will go to COVID-19 relief organizations (Crisis Aid International and Black Belt Community Fund).

Watch a video of Syd performing Hashkiveinu

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Elisabeth Cohen (‘01) — Ambassadors Program

A year-long leadership program for seventh-grade students at MS 54 in New York City.

A student leadership program for seventh-graders at the school where Cohen teaches, a highly diverse public school. A diverse group of 30 students will meet weekly to grow social-emotional and leadership skills, process emotions, and undertake projects to help their school community.

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Avlana Eisenberg (‘93) — Musicians for Racial Justice

A virtual orchestral performance of “Can’t You Line ‘Em” by W.G. Still, the most prominent African-American composer of the 20th century.

A virtual orchestral performance of “Can’t You Line ‘Em” by W.G. Still, the most prominent African-American composer of the 20th century, to honor the 125th anniversary of Still’s birth. The musicians will be drawn from the roster of the Boston Chamber Symphony (“BCS”), taking special care to select a racially diverse group of musicians for this performance.

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Rafi Ellenson (‘11) — Merhav

A laboratory of virtual Jewish education, with the ultimate end-goal of developing and disseminating effective distance learning strategies for Jewish educators.

A laboratory of virtual Jewish education, where five young, pluralistic, rising Jewish educators will teach 20 experimental courses and workshops. After the 20 session period is finished, Ellenson and the educators will write a joint piece for publication about what they have learned about virtual Jewish learning pedagogies that can be replicated, and to create templates of curricula that they will freely advertise and distribute. They will also offer themselves as consultants-for-hire to institutions adapting their curricula, as well as hold a mini-conference to actively share with the community the best practices they have developed. 

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2020 Israeli Grantees:

Noa Avraham (‘11) — Beitar Jerusalem Team-Building Event

A team-building event for Beitar Jerusalem, the first-ever all-women’s professional soccer team of Jerusalem.

A post-COVID team-building event for Beitar Jerusalem, the first-ever all-women’s professional soccer team of Jerusalem consisting of Arab, Jewish, religious and secular players. This two-day event will feature team-building workshops and bonding time for the team, who have not been able to meet in person since the start of the COVID crisis. This will help ensure the continuity of this young team. Avraham is the founder and manager of Beitar Jerusalem – part of a fledgling professional women’s soccer movement.

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Daniel Gamlieli (‘02) — Ayala Animation Video for Album

An animated music video to accompany the new song “Ayala”.

An animated music video to accompany Gamlieli’s new song “Ayala,” on his new album “Storage Room” – a new way to reach audiences since COVID-19 is preventing live performances. Animator Hanani Horowitz has already begun work on this project in collaboration with the musician, but additional funding is required to bring it to life. The song and animation aim to spark discussion about a promise of peace and tolerance to nature and of our connection to nature and good, and to inspire optimism and happiness.

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Yishai Kritzer (‘12) — Social Refrigerator of Jerusalem

A project which redirects unsold produce at Machane Yehuda Shuk into a communal refrigerator which is free to all Jerusalem residents.

Restarting an existing project, the Social Refrigerator of Machane Yehuda Shuk, which provides unsold produce for free to any passerby, thereby redirecting food that would otherwise be thrown into the garbage to feed needy Jerusalemites. The funding would be used to sustain the project and ultimately expand the scale of the project and spread awareness about it. 

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Shiri Kuban (‘10) — When It’s Becoming Clear

A film told from the perspective of seven-year-old Eli, as she processes the sudden death of her father, and the continued presence of death in life.

Kuban’s final project at Sam Spiegel Film School, which will be an autobiographical film told from the perspective of seven-year-old Eli, as she processes the sudden death of her father, and the continued presence of death in life. 

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Ran Milon (‘04) — Digital Bat Mitzvah Workshops from Shavot

A series of workshops for American and Israeli Bat Mitzvah girls and their parents, focused on identity-building and feminist empowerment.

Digital workshops for Bat Mitzvah girls and their parents, in Israel and America. The content includes workshops on identity, planning for the future, self-expression, learning from inspiring women, and more. The income from these workshops will help sustain Shavot, an organization that works year-round to uplift young women. Ran serves on the board of Shavot and helped to develop the content.  

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Naftali Oppenheimer (‘11) — Sustainable Seminar

A seminar for young Israelis at pre-military academies to learn about and implement sustainability and environmental activism.

A seminar for representatives of various pre-military academies (religious, secular, and mixed) to learn how to promote sustainability, environmental awareness, and environmental activism at their respective academies. Post-military volunteers will act as mentors to the group, and will guide them throughout the year to implement what they have learned. This is the newest iteration of a movement founded by Naftali to “grow an Israeli local ecological discourse based on the values of Zionism and Jewish heritage.”

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