The Bronfman Fellowship program is now accepting applications for its 35th year. Every year, 26 outstanding North American 11th graders will be chosen for an intellectually challenging year of programming that begins with a free five-week trip to Israel in the summer before their senior years of high school. After the trip, Bronfman provides monthly experiences online and a winter and spring seminar in the United States. The program educates and inspires young Jews from diverse backgrounds to have a significant impact on the world as community builders, deep thinkers, moral voices, and cultural creators. The program was founded by Edgar M. Bronfman, z”l, who was the CEO of the Seagram Company Ltd. and a visionary Jewish philanthropist.
During the program’s seminars, the fellows meet with such leading intellectuals, religious and cultural leaders, and educators, as Matti Friedman, the Israeli-Canadian journalist and author; Joy Ladin, the transgender American poet who teaches at Stern College, and Anthony Russell, the Jewish African-American musician. With the guidance of a diverse faculty of rabbis and educators, the fellows have the opportunity to explore a wide range of Jewish texts, from classic religious works to contemporary Israeli and American voices, using them to spark conversations, engage with stimulating existential questions, and achieve a deeper understanding of themselves and one another. Fellows also interact with a group of Israeli peers who were chosen through a parallel selection process by the Israeli branch of the Fellowship, Amitei Bronfman. They have the opportunity to participate in the fellowship’s arts tracks: workshops in poetry, drama, visual narrative, and music taught by leading innovators in the field of Jewish art. When they return home from the summer in Israel, fellows also explore major themes in North American Jewish life.
Last summer, the Bronfman Fellowship conducted a successful virtual program for its 2020 cohort. It is the Fellowship’s hope that in 2021 the program will proceed normally and that fellows will be able to meet in person and travel to Israel.
Applications for the 2021 fellowship are due by December 3. They’re available online at bronfman.org. High school students in the United States and Canada who self-identify as Jewish and who will be in the 12th grade in the fall of 2021 are eligible to apply. The Fellowship is a pluralistic program for Jews of all backgrounds; prior Jewish education is not required. Students are chosen on merit alone.