Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Alan Slifka, Founder of the Abraham Fund, Is Dead at 81

Philanthropist Alan Slifka, founder of the Abraham Fund, has died.

Slifka died Feb. 4 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81.

Slifka founded the Abraham Fund in 1989. The fund, which he ran with the late Haifa University professor Eugene Weiner, is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing coexistence and equality between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens.

In 2000 he was awarded with Israel’s Knesset Prize for Coexistence for his work as chairman of the fund.

Slifka established the Slifka Program on Intercommunal Coexistence at Brandeis University in 2001. The program established a master’s degree in coexistence and conflict, and sought to develop greater professional expertise and creative leadership in the field of coexistence.

In 2010, Slifka expanded the master’s program with the establishment of the Alan B. Slifka Chair in Coexistence and Conflict at the Heller School of Social Policy at Brandeis.

Slifka served as a member of the board of the American Jewish Congress, and as a leading supporter of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in New York, whose building is named in memory of his parents. In 1995 he established The Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale University.

He was among the founders of the Big Apple Circus in New York.

Slifka graduated from Yale University in 1951 and earned a master’s degree from the Harvard Business School in 1953. He received honorary degrees from Brandeis and Haifa universities.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.