Samuels Center for Community Partnerships and Civic Transformation (COMPACT)

Maurice J. and Fay B. Karpf and Ari Hahn Peace Awards

About the Award

Maurice J. and Fay B. Karpf and Ari Hahn’s Family generously award funding to Brandeis students who wish to work on peace, conflict resolution, and coexistence projects. The awards are meant to enhance peace culture as it evolves in our society and elsewhere in the world. Due to the donors' generosity, COMPACT is able to award this grant annually each Fall to Brandeis students. Project funding may be awarded in the amounts of $100 to $3,000.

Meet the Current Awardees

Eligibility and Application Process

Apply now for 2025 Karpf and Hahn Peace Awards

Applications are welcome from all Brandeis undergraduate and graduate students. Typically, no more than one award per year will be given to a graduate student. Grants may be awarded in the amounts of $100 to $3,000.

In addition to an application, students must provide a letter of recommendation from their Karpf and Hahn Peace Award faculty mentor. 

The Karpf and Hahn Steering Committee evaluate applications. It is recommended that applicants meet with COMPACT's Associate Director, Megan Moran, to discuss their proposed project prior to submitting their application. You may also reach out to COMPACT with any inquiries or for additional information fill out the interest form.


Maurice J. and Fay B. Karpf

The Karpf Peace Prize was originally established with a bequest gift in 1982 from the estate of Fay Karpf. It was intended as a prize “for the preparation of studies and manuscripts involving contributions to the subject of the promotion of universal peace, goodwill, tolerance, and understanding among the peoples of the earth.” Professor Bernard Wasserstein of the History Department and Professor George Ross of the Sociology Department were the first members of the committee to choose students. Fay was a graduate of the University of Chicago and had graduate degrees from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Columbia University. She was the Director of the Department of Sociology in the Graduate School of Jewish Social Work in New York City. We are incredibly grateful to the Karpf family for their generous contribution and for helping make these Brandeis student peace-related projects come to fruition.

Ari Hahn

Ari Hahn was a member of the Class of 1994 at Brandeis. He received his degree in Sociology, receiving departmental honors when he graduated cum laude. His mother, Mrs. Jacqueline Hahn, created the Ari Hahn Peace Endowment in his memory in 2007. The Ari Hahn Peace Endowment was originally established within Brandeis University's former 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.

We are deeply grateful to the Hahn family for their generosity.  For years, the Ari Hahn Peace Endowment supported courses offered in the PAX program.  It continues to provide vital resources for peace related initiatives at Brandeis, including student projects, occasional speakers, films, and conferences.