The AVI CHAI Foundation is allocating up to $1.15 million over the course of the next three years to four individuals and one team of two whom it has selected as the first recipients of The AVI CHAI Fellowship. It won’t surprise any of you who follow the Jewish innovation beat to learn that the “team of two” is that of Ariel Beery and Aharon Horwitz. They are sharing the fellowship, with the goal of “expanding PresenTense Magazine and the PresenTense Institute for Creative Zionism to form a corps of forward-thinking social and communal pioneers, specially trained for the Information Age.”

This program constitutes the largest cash award — $75K per fellow or team per year — to emerging communal and educational leaders within the North American Jewish community. The award will go towards their proposed activities, the purpose of The AVI CHAI Fellowship is to advance and promote the individual winners as important forces in building a vital American Jewish future built upon these values.

More than 40 nominations were submitted by twenty nominators (18 located in the United States and 2 in Israel) and the seven members of the selection committee met privately over the course of four months. The AVI CHAI Fellowship was kept under wraps (seriously under wraps; even PT trusted familiars were kept out of the application and selection process, and nothing was announced until today’s press conference).

Mazal tov and kol hakavod to Aharon and Ariel! For a more complete report, see here.

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Esther Kustanowitz

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