Founded in 2005 under the leadership of Michael Steinhardt and the late William Davidson, the Areivim Philanthropic Group is a unique consortium of major North American philanthropists committed to developing and supporting transformational projects. Areivim works to significantly impact the next generation of Jews through formal and experiential Jewish, Hebrew, and Israel education.
Our partners meet several times a year to identify the challenges of our time and brainstorm how they, as dedicated philanthropists, can develop and support projects to enhance Jewish life in North America. Currently, there are three active Working Groups focusing on the areas of Jewish Part-time Education, Jewish Early Childhood Education, and the Potential of the Synagogue. Previous Working Groups explored the fields of Israel Engagement, Modern Hebrew Language, Israel Branding and Advocacy, and others. Once a project is launched as a result of the efforts of a particular Working Group, group members help transition the project to the next level. Each Partner can be involved in as many groups as desired. With Working Groups engaged with academic advisors and consultants to help achieve our goals, Areivim has enjoyed a successful track record of creating transformative projects.
For example, the Areivim Philanthropic Group dreamed up Hebrew Public: Charter Schools for Global Citizens, the Israeli Scouts Atid program, and the Hebrew at Camp/Kayitz Kef Hebrew Language Immersion Program in Day Camps.
Hebrew Public started with one school in 2009 and now has 15 across the country.
Resulting from the work of the Israel Engagement Working Group, Israeli Scouts Atid, an English-language track of the Israeli Scouts (Tzofim) in the US, was launched in 2016.
The Working Group on Modern Hebrew Language developed the Hebrew at Camp/Kayitz Kef Program in 2013. Kayitz Kef gives American Jewish youth the ability to converse in Modern Israeli Hebrew and to own contemporary Israeli culture as part of who they are. An independent evaluation of the project has shown that returning campers are able to regain the language ability achieved during the previous summer after only two weeks and are then able to grow to even higher levels of proficiency. Beginning with one pilot program at Camp Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, New York, during the summer of 2013, Kayitz Kef served 625 campers in 2019 in the following communities: Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Palo Alto, Washington, DC; Toronto, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Columbus, and two sites in New York. We are on the path to engage over 2,000 children by 2024.
Other projects that Areivim endorses and works with include Onward Israel, OneTable, TAMID Group, and the Jewish Food Society.