For the past seven years, I have been chronicling the ongoing process of spend-down at AVI CHAI, a foundation located in Jerusalem and New York with programs in Israel, North America, and the former Soviet Union. The seventh annual report, titled “The Saving Remnant Is Shining Bright, Its Fire Now Spreading Renewing Light,” is now available.
At the end of 2017, The AVI CHAI Foundation stood exactly two years away from its intended sunset, when its two remaining programs, in North America and in Israel, would make their final grants and disband. (A third program, in the Former Soviet Union, ended in 2015.) But far from an atmosphere of impending doom, the approaching conclusion seemed to be inspiring a heightened sense of urgency and a steadily growing confidence, among both staff and Board, in the prospects of making lasting contributions to the well-being and unity of the Jewish People, the vitality of Judaism, and the centrality of the State of Israel in Jewish life. Many projects and initiatives still await the results of independent evaluations, and some struggle with financial and other challenges as they prepare for the end of AVI CHAI support. But the feeling that important strides have been made, and some achievements seem likely to endure, has created a sense of buoyancy, even amid the lingering uncertainties.
The report is also available on the website of the AVI CHAI Foundation Blog.