Steve Eisenbach-Budner

Tivnu |



Steve Eisenbach-Budner is the founder and director of Tivnu: Building Justice. Throughout his life, he has worked to create relevant and holistic Jewish communities that address the social, spiritual, and political facets of contemporary Jewish identity. He has worked in the construction field for over twenty years as a carpenter, general contractor and construction trainer. From 2002-2012, Steve worked with the at-risk young adults of Portland YouthBuilders, a job-training and life-skills program. He taught and mentored hundreds of students while they built homes for low-income families, developed leadership skills and, for some, experienced a supportive community for the first time. Steve founded Tivnu: Building Justice to enable Jews from across the communal spectrum to integrate their Jewish identities with their commitments to creating communities in which the basic needs of all people are met. Having been raised in an affordable housing complex in New York City, he knows firsthand the centrality of housing to family and community stability and cohesion. Steve, his life partner Deborah and their three children, Tamir, Lev and RozaBess, make their home in Portland, Oregon.


Based in Portland, Oregon, Tivnu: Building Justice empowers Jews to take an active role in addressing basic human needs, including shelter, food security, and environmental justice. Participants build affordable housing, work with local direct-service organizations on a range of issues, engage in Jewish learning and living, and study contemporary socio-economic questions to provide a solid foundation for Jewish social justice work. By engaging head, heart and hand, Tivnu attracts individuals across a wide spectrum of interests and backgrounds, including those with no Jewish affiliation. Tivnu partners with other Jewish organizations, brings together diverse Jewish groups, and provides opportunities for Jews to work in partnership with non-Jews. The Tivnu Gap Year, an immersive residential experience for high school graduates ages 17-20 from across North America and beyond, launched in the fall of 2014 as the first Jewish gap year in the United States. Tivnu also runs one-day to one-week programs for all ages and multi-week summer programs for current high school students. Tivnu: Building Justice is working to develop the next generation of Jewish leaders and is committed to placing the issues of housing and other basic needs at the forefront of the Jewish communal agenda.