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The AVI CHAI Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-06-09

At A Glance

The AVI CHAI Foundation

(formerly AVI CHAI - A Philanthropic Foundation)

1015 Park Ave.

New York City, NY United States 10028-0904

Telephone: (212) 396-8850


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $522,235,000

Total giving: $42,862,407



Additional Contact Information

Additional/mailing address (Israel office): P.O. Box 7617, Jerusalem, 91076 tel.: (02) 621-5300, fax: (02) 621-5331, e-mail:


Established in 1984 in NY - Founded by the late Zalman C. Bernstein, who founded the Sanford C. Bernstein & Company in 1967. The company, a unit of Alliance Bernstein (formerly Alliance Capital Management), manages the discretionary accounts of the wealthy; it has some $70 billion of assets under management for affluent families, as well as pension funds and corporate investors. The company is active mainly in the U.S., where it maintains some 20 offices. The foundation plans to spend down its endowment and close operations by early 2020.

Purpose and Activities

The foundation is committed to the perpetuation of the Jewish people, Judaism, and the centrality of the state of Israel to the Jewish people. The objectives of the foundation are to encourage those of the Jewish faith towards greater commitment to Jewish observance and lifestyle by increasing their understanding, appreciation, and practice of Jewish traditions, customs, and laws; and to encourage mutual understanding and sensitivity among Jews of different religious backgrounds and commitments to observance.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Former Soviet Union

The AVI CHAI Foundation's central focus in the former Soviet Union is reaching out to the widest and most diverse Jewish audience, which represents the overwhelming majority of post-Soviet Jewry.


AVI CHAI's primary goals in Israel are to create and disseminate Jewish culture to the general public; promoting Jewish study and identity in state schools; inspire Jewish social change agents; promote "Pius"; and foster Israeli Jewish communities .

North America

AVI CHAI Foundation in North America seeks to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people through what it affectionately terms LRP: 1) Fostering high levels of Jewish Literacy; 2) Deepening Religious Purposefulness; and 3) Promoting advocacy for Jewish Peoplehood and Israel. The foundation's goal is to advance and sustain LRP education in Jewish day schools and summer camps for the purpose of creating the foundation for an energizing nucleus of youth with the values, commitments, motivation and skills to lead the Jewish People intellectually, spiritually, communally, and politically in the 21st century .

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has made PRIs, in the form of loans, for the construction and renovation of Jewish day schools.

Fields of Interest

  • Education
  • Elementary and secondary education
  • Human services
  • Judaism
  • Nonprofits
  • Religion
  • Youth services
International Interests
  • Israel
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Students
  • Judaic institutions
  • Public charities

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $522,235,000 (market value)

Expenditures: $49,914,000

Total giving: $42,862,407

Qualifying distributions: $58,834,000

Giving activities include:

$42,862,407 for 83 grants (high: $16,542,107; low: $1,000)

$1,359,902 for foundation-administered programs

$9,300,000 for loans/program-related investments