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Innovative Clevelander gets AVI CHAI Fellowship


Aharon Horwitz is one of the first AVI CHAI Fellows

Lila Hanft, CJN, 05/15/08

Even with e-mail, voice mail, and cell phones, it’s been hard to catch up with Cleveland native Aharon Horwitz, 28, this week.

On Monday he was in New York with collaborator Ariel Beery to receive an AVI CHAI Fellowship of $225,000 over three years. Tuesday it was back home to Israel to attend a multi-day president’s conference, and on Thursday, Horwitz was scheduled to speak on a panel titled “Israel and the Diaspora: Aliyah and the Special Relationship.”

Horwitz, who lives in Jerusalem, and Beery, who lives in New York, co-founded and co-direct the PresenTense Group. Their winning fellowship proposal is to expand their flagship project, PresenTense magazine, and the PresenTense Institute for Creative Zionism (PICZ), an incubator for socially minded entrepreneurs.

The AVI CHAI Fellowship, which identifies “emerging Jewish leaders,” was awarded to only four other recipients in addition to Horwitz and Beery. Horwitz says, via e-mail from Jerusalem, that “Ariel and I are excited, inspired, and grateful to The AVI CHAI Foundation for this fellowship opportunity.”

But he adds that part of their project is the belief that “ultimately what the Jewish Community needs is not necessarily ‘leaders,’ but rather doers who are ready to roll up their sleeves and engage in the hard work of future building.” The PresentTense Group’s projects are all “permeated” with this attitude, which Horwitz identifies as “the Zionist ethos -- and the business startup culture ethos.”

Read the rest at the Cleveland Jewish News!

Future Vision: Hear Aharon Horwitz's & Ariel Beery's project pitch.

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