Aleph Institute

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aleph Institute
FounderSholom Lipskar
FocusPrison, military, and family programs
HeadquartersThe Shul of Bal Harbour (Surfside, Florida)
Key people
Rabbi Aaron Lipskar
Rabbi Mendy Katz

The Aleph Institute is an American non-profit organization affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement that provides support services to the approximately 85,000 Jews in the U.S. prison system[1] and Jewish members of the U.S. military located in the United States and deployed abroad.[2]

Prison programs[edit]

Aleph's prison programs focus on assisting Jewish inmates during their prison stay as well as helping them reintegrate into society once released. Aleph helps them observe the Jewish holidays[3] and assist them with their daily Jewish practices, books, food items and materials holidays and daily Jewish practices.[4][5][6] Aleph also has a summer visitation program which sends Rabbinical students around the US visiting over 3,000 Jewish inmates.[7][8]


The institute has intervened on behalf of Jewish prisoners, in the United States and abroad. For example, the institute connected Jacob Ostreicher, a Jewish businessman arrested in Bolivia in 2011 for purportedly money laundering, with actor Sean Penn. Penn made a direct appeal to Bolivian President Evo Morales on Ostreicher's behalf. Ostreicher was released in 2013 and credited the Aleph Institute with helping to secure his release.[9]

In 2010, Aleph Institute joined 200 Jewish organizations petitioning then Governor Charlie Christ for a stay of execution on behalf of Martin Grossman who was convicted of the 1984 killing of a law enforcement officer.[10][11] Pope Benedict XVI also sent a personal request to commute the sentence but the execution proceeded and Grossman was killed in 2010.

Military programs[edit]

Aleph assists with the spiritual needs of Jews serving in the U.S. Armed Forces by providing Jewish books as well as moral and spiritual support.[12][13] Aleph also distributes special holiday packages to soldiers for Jewish holidays to Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine bases.[14][15]


  1. ^ "Aleph's History- Incareration: The Problem and Solution". Aleph Institute Northeast. Aleph Institute. Retrieved 13 March 2023.
  2. ^ "New Prison Chief Visits Aleph Institute to Learn About Prisoner Rehabilitation Efforts". Chabad-Lubavitch. Retrieved 13 March 2023.
  3. ^ "Young Rabbis visit a detention center to lead Rosh Hashanah services". New York Post. 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
  4. ^ "Jewish women in prison want more support from community". 1998-03-27. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  5. ^ "Even behind bars, Jewish life flourishes". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  6. ^ "Prison Chaplains Hold Two Day Conference at Aleph". 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  7. ^ "Pen Pals". Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. 2008-08-01. Archived from the original on 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  8. ^ "City jail's Jewish cons host rabbinical students". New Jersey Jewish News. 2008-07-10. Archived from the original on 2011-01-30. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  9. ^ Glueck, Katie. "Engel to Penn: 'I'm really a fan'". Politico. Retrieved 13 March 2023.
  10. ^ "Martin Edward Grossman #1195".
  11. ^ "Martin Grossman Does Not Deserve To Die". Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  12. ^ Popper, Nathaniel (2006-03-17). "Chabad Outfit To Endorse Military Chaplains – The Jewish Daily Forward". Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  13. ^ Stabinsky, Kevin (2009-08-11). "Rabbi visits post to speak with fellow Jews, form bonds, discuss beliefs, address issues". Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  14. ^ Berman, Rivka (2007-01-31). "Jewish Holidays Come Early at Aleph - News - Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters". Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  15. ^ "Jews in Green Links". Jews in Green. Retrieved 2010-07-30.

External links[edit]