AVI CHAI concluded its general grant making on December 31, 2019.

Sefer: The Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization

Outside of the university programs in Moscow and St. Petersburg, since 2003 AVI CHAI has provided significant funding (a combined total of $1.2 million) toward Sefer, an academic umbrella organization uniting scholars, young researchers, graduate and undergraduate students of academic Jewish studies from across the FSU. Sefer organizes one-week schools in a number of different regions of important Jewish significance, academic conferences in Jewish studies, publishes several annual academic publications with recently conducted research, sends academics and junior faculty to teach mini-courses at universities across the FSU, and directs Eshnav, a three-week study program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for select students and junior faculty.
Since 2003, enrollment in the Sefer schools and programs increased from 350 to 600 students per annum, with conducted evaluations pointing to the academic quality and importance of Sefer’s programs and activities. Sefer, which is housed at Russia’s Academy of Sciences, remains the only program of its kind in the FSU and is often the only opportunity for FSU students to pursue their academic Jewish study research and interests – as well as to network with others who share these interests.

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