(Courtesy of The Bronfman Fellowship) The Bronfman Fellowship is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 36th cohort of this transformative program. The Fellowship selects twenty-six outstanding North American teenagers for an intellectually challenging year of programming that begins with a free summer in Israel between the Fellows’ junior and senior years of high school, followed by monthly virtual experiences and two seminars in the U.S. The program educates and inspires exceptional young Jews from diverse backgrounds to have a significant impact on the world as community builders, deep thinkers, moral voices and cultural creators. The nonprofit Fellowship was founded by Edgar M. Bronfman, z”l, formerly CEO of the Seagram Company Ltd. and a visionary Jewish philanthropist.
For 36 years, Bronfman Fellows have built a pluralistic community through a transformative, intellectual and deeply personal journey in which they have the opportunity to see the world through a lens broader than their own. Inspired by a stellar faculty of rabbis and educators, Fellows explore a wide range of Jewish texts, from classic religious works to contemporary poetry and philosophy, using these sources to spark conversations, engage with stimulating existential questions, and achieve a deeper understanding of themselves and one another.
In addition to learning with stellar educators, Fellows also have the unique opportunity to engage with leading intellectuals, artists and religious and cultural leaders. Past speakers have included journalist Matti Friedman; author Nicole Krauss; musician and Yiddish scholar Anthony Russell; and Torah scholar Dr. Avivah Zornberg.
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. Additionally, they have the opportunity to participate in the Fellowship’s arts tracks: workshops in areas including poetry, dance, drama, visual narrative and music, taught by leading innovators in the field of Jewish art. Upon returning home from the summer in Israel, Fellows also explore major themes in North American Jewish life.
“My father, Edgar M. Bronfman, placed enormous faith in young people’s ability to see the world not just as it is, but as it ought to be,” said Adam R. Bronfman, president of the Samuel Bronfman Foundation. “He believed that young people energized by their Judaism were best equipped to both shape a Jewish ‘Renaissance’ and improve the world.”
“The Fellowship is an opportunity for dynamic personal and intellectual growth in a group of carefully chosen peers,” said Becky Voorwinde, executive director. “We seek to increase communication between young people across the Jewish spectrum including fostering bonds between Jews in North America and Israel. This program serves as a creative force that has inspired some of our best Jewish young adults to become creative leaders in their communities.”
Alumni of The Bronfman Fellowship are leaders in their community, playing key roles in fields such as social justice, academia, law, and the arts. There are now over 1,300 Bronfman Fellowship alumni across North America and Israel. Among them are 7 Rhodes Scholars, 4 former Supreme Court clerks, 19 Fulbright Scholars, 37 Wexner Fellows and 27 Dorot Fellows.
Applications for the 2022 Fellowship are due December 8, 2021, and are 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 eleventh 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.