The Ari Hahn Peace Endowment was established within Brandeis University's Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies (PAX) Program to honor the memory of a beloved son, brother and the truest of friends, whose lust for life and living with authenticity was limitless.
Throughout his youth, Ari was a quiet overachiever interested as much in piano as he was in sports. As a student at Brandeis, he took great interest in sociology, continental philosophy and socially significant work. Ari was particularly intrigued by the relationship between theory and practice and that between history and the individual. He spent years exploring psychodynamic theory and its application to conflict resolution and real scenarios, ranging from personal relationships to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was during this time that he entered the PAX program, where his dedication to conflict resolution, from that between nations to that within ourselves, fully bloomed.
A prolific and carefree spirit, Ari undertook two road trips across America to explore the heart of the country, writing essays, travel journals, poetry and a play titled "The Five Alive" along the way. His interests in racial identity, oppression, cultures, and the fundamental struggles of all people took him to Zimbabwe, where he spent a semester exploring the culture and political realities of that country. Upon return, he was chosen as a student speaker at his Sociology graduation. In his speech, lionizing the efficacy of bringing praxis to international relations, he delivered a message of scholarship, passion and peace.
By the time he graduated from Brandeis University in 1994, Ari was an electrifying individual with a commanding knowledge of everything from the social theories of Immanuel Kant and Jean-Paul Sartre to the passions of George Clinton and Miles Davis. He soon moved to Berkeley to work for various advocacy groups, going door to door with environmental and socially conscious petitions while studying bass guitar in his free time. Before his passing at the young age of 26, Ari deferred an acceptance with scholarship honors to the New School for Social Research Master of Arts program in Sociology to travel through Europe, study its cultures, and continue exploring.
Known by professors and friends alike as much for his kind disposition as for his intensely unique passion, Ari galvanized those who knew him to reject their inhibitions, and to live according to the person they really were, not the person others wanted them to be.