What We Learn

What do you learn on The Bronfman Fellowship? 

During their summer in Israel, Fellows have the opportunity to explore a wide range of Jewish texts, from classic religious documents 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.

The Bronfman Fellowship is at the forefront of Jewish education. Our diverse faculty of Rabbis and educators strive to create an atmosphere of intellectual openness, in which questions and deep thought are encouraged.

The Fellowship is not a for-credit program, nor are Fellows given any homework or assignments outside of their daytime seminars. In this unique learning atmosphere, Fellows are able to pursue interests, passions, and modes of thinking that they may not be able to explore during the school year.

Here are some examples of our seminars, taught by resident faculty members, and speakers. 

Sample Seminar topics:

Sensuality and the Sages: Beauty, Seduction and Romance in Rabbinic Literature

Talmudic Science and Superstition

A Documentary History of the Israeli-Palestinian Encounter 

Contemporary Hebrew Poems in Dialogue with the Bible 

Rabbinic Revolutions: Talmud Sanhedrin’s Incorrigible Son 

American Judaism: Thinking Historically  

Intellectual Roots of the Zionist Idea


Sample Speakers: 

Etgar Keret - Contemporary Israeli author of short stories & novels including The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God 

Rabbai Tamar Elad-Appelbaum – Named one of The Forward’s top 5 Female Religious leaders in Israel for her work promoting pluralism and Jewish social engagement 

Anat Hoffman – Founding member of Women of the Wall and Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center 

Dr. Danny Gordis – Senior Vice President of the Shalem Center and frequent New York Times & Jerusalem Post contributor 

A.B. Yehoshua – Israeli novelist, essayist, and playwright

Jonathan Safran Foer (Bronfman '94) - Award-winning American author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close