North Eastern US Aleph Institute

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aleph Institute (North East US)
FounderRabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel
FocusPrison, family, and social service programs
HeadquartersPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
North East US

Aleph Institute (North East US) is a Jewish humanitarian organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They provide various religious and humanitarian services for Jewish inmates in prisons and jail across the North Eastern US, as well as for their families. They also provide social services for the local Jewish community, including supporting food security.


Aleph Institute (North East US) was founded in 1991 by Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel,[1] following the founding of the Aleph Institute in Florida in 1981. He was sent by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson to ensure the Jews incarcerated in the North East were provided for, with the responsibly stretching from Virginia northwards, and Ohio eastwards.[2] In 2009 they inaugurated their new center in Squirrel Hill.

Prison Services[edit]

Aleph Institute's rabbis and volunteers visit prisons regularly, to teach and encourage Jewish inmates, and to ensure their needs and religious rights are cared for. This includes arranging for Kosher meals, Tefillin, and special meals for Jewish holidays.[3] Aleph is also involved in re-entry services, providing housing, employment, and religious assistance.[4] According to research, the recidivism rate, normally at 76%, falls to just 8% when Aleph is involved.[5] The New York Times has noted Aleph as a "well-known force" in criminal justice issues.[6]

Torah Weekly[edit]

Aleph Institute creates a weekly one-page newsletter, which includes thoughts on the weekly Torah portion, as well as short summaries of events from Jewish history. It is distributed online, and is available for inmates in prison.[7]

Project Shifra[edit]

Aleph Institute's Project Shifra, named for the biblical Shifra, provides social services, including a Kosher food bank, family counseling, and women and children's programing for local Orthodox Jewish communities.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Federation announces Rudolph and Spector Award recipients". 30 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Aleph Institute provides for more than prisoners' spiritual needs". Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle. 15 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Rabbi Behind Bars: Organizing a Different Kind of Minyan in West Virginia". 25 January 2016.
  4. ^ "On Passover, Four Cups With a Different Kind of Sustenance". 20 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Aleph Institute set to resume in-person visits to Jewish prisoners". Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle/Times of Israel. 21 March 2022.
  6. ^ "Behind Trump Clemency, a Case Study in Special Access". The New York Times. 24 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Aleph Institute provides for more than prisoners' spiritual needs". Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle/Times of Israel. 15 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Project Shifra: An unplanned safety net for Orthodox families". Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle/Times of Israel. 23 November 2021.

External links[edit]