About AHF

The mission of the Amish Heritage Foundation is to empower Amish women and children through education past the 8th grade.

Our Story

Established in 2018, The Amish Heritage Foundation (AHF) is the first organization in 300+ years of history to advocate for Amish people without a religious price tag.

AHF is a secular nonprofit that empowers those inside and outside the Amish Church through education, and helps the public become informed about the facts of Amish culture and religion.

Through our original conference format, we connect people from similar educationally deprived and disadvantaged groups.

Our trailblazing format — now copied by other groups such as the Rights and Religions Forum — brings together academics, experts, and individuals with personal stories to share the stage.

Where We Stand

AHF is LGBTQ+ affirming and stands in solidarity with the Native/Indigenous peoples and #BlackLivesMatter.

The Amish

The Amish are an insular, underserved minority population of ~350,000 throughout ~30 states in rural America who speak English as a second language.

The average family has 8-9 children, some households include multiple generations, and the average income is below the federal poverty level. Health insurance and an education beyond Amish 8th grade are forbidden by the religion.

We could not serve this at-risk population without the support of our individual donors, collaborators, advisors, and supporters.


Our Mission & Approach


The Amish Heritage Foundation is a history-making non-profit committed to 1) empowering Amish women and children through education past the 8th grade, so they can exercise their human and constitutional rights to create and choose their futures, and 2) fostering public awareness about the crises hidden in Amish society.

We provide educational programs and services to Amish people; develop and deliver cultural literacy training to agencies, institutions, and individuals (e.g., social workers, educators, advocates, law enforcement, and legal and health professionals); and advocate for making education a federal Constitutional right for American citizens.


We envision that one day education will be a federal right for all American and Native/Indigenous children, and Amish children will have the right to learn beyond the 8th grade and the right to learn about science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and the arts.

"My dream is that one day all American children — and adults — will have the federal constitutional right to learn."

Torah Bontrager, Founder
The Amish Heritage Foundation

What People We Help Say

Your generous donations help us help more women and children.

"The Amish Heritage Foundation has provided me with life-changing emotional support, influence and guidance. I don’t feel so alone anymore."

Amish Female College Student

"When I escaped, I didn't even know if I had a birth certificate. The Amish Heritage Foundation helped me get documented right away, so I could get a job and be recognized as an American citizen."

18-year-old Amish Male

"If it weren't for The Amish Heritage Foundation and their dedicated staff, we would never have been able to stand up to the abuse inside our church. We would have just given up."

Practicing Amish Wife & Husband

The Amish Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (nonprofit NGO) and charitable contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

Our federal tax identification number is 82-4591861.

Message from the Founder

Thank you for finding us!

When I was around 13 years old, I told myself that if I made it after my escape, I’d help the ones left behind. The Amish Heritage Foundation is the manifestation of that childhood vow.

It’s a kind of underground railroad, inspired by Harriet Tubman whom I read about when I was 13.

Harriet was my first female role model. What she did for enslaved people inspired me to believe in myself and do whatever it took to set myself free, too. I felt there were many issues that weren’t being addressed in my culture, including the fact that women and girls have no rights no matter what the United States constitution says.

I didn’t have an Amish female role model as a child. That’s because for the entire length of our 300+ years of history, there hasn’t been a single female in a leadership position among my people, neither inside nor outside the Amish institution.

It’s taken me many years to feel that I made it: traveling to 30+ countries, earning my degree––to my knowledge, I’m the first Amish escapee to graduate from an Ivy League school––unraveling my childhood traumas, and learning to love myself (which is a constant work in progress).

Like Harriet, I can’t do the work I envision without your help. Thank you for joining the fight to create a safer world for women and children––and by extension, all beings.

Torah Bontrager

Founder & Executive Director, The Amish Heritage Foundation