In 2008, Scott Shay, our founder and Board President, wrote Getting our Groove Back: How to Energize American Jewry in which he tackled some of the challenging issues of contemporary Jewish life. One of these issues is how to keep people meaningfully connected to Jewish life at every age and stage of life. Shay recognized that Jewish engagement involves spirituality and social action as well as study.
In 2009, piloting in Hartford CT with 49 people, Chai Mitzvah was formed as a 501 C(3). Since then, the Chai Mitzvah program has enriched over 2000 lives throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel. We have found that, upon completion of the program, Chai Mitzvah participants continue to be engaged in a sustainable and meaningful way.