The Bronfman Fellowships (BYFI) is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 28th year of this prestigious program in the United State and 16th year for Israeli students. The Bronfman Fellowships selects forty-six outstanding teenagers (26 from North America and 20 from Israel) for a rigorous academic year of seminars including a free, five-week trip to Israel for North American students between the summer of Fellows’ junior and senior years of high school. The program educates and inspires exceptional young Jews from diverse backgrounds to grow into leaders grounded in their Jewish identity and committed to social change. The program was founded and is funded by Edgar M. Bronfman.
The Fellows participate in study and dialogue with our diverse faculty, which is made up of Rabbis and educators, associated with different movements and perspectives within Judaism. Faculty members have an intimate knowledge of Judaism in North America and Israel and have extensive experience working with emerging adults. During the program’s seminars, Fellows meet with leading intellectuals, religious and political leaders, and educators. North American and Israeli Fellows also spend two weeks together in both Israel and the US.
In explaining the purpose of The Bronfman Fellowships, Edgar Bronfman has said, “the Fellowships educate an outstanding cadre of young Jews to see their commitments to Judaism and the Jewish people through a lens broader than their own perspective. Commitments must be based on knowledge, for this reason, the program is grounded in Torah study and discussion.”
There are now over 1000 Bronfman Fellowship alumni across the US and Israel, the majority of who still take part in alumni activities and projects. Bronfman Fellowship alumni include 8 Rhodes Scholars, 4 former Supreme Court clerks, 12 Fulbright Scholars, 27 Wexner Fellows, and 24 Dorot Fellows.
North American Fellows have found that participation in BYFI has helped them in their college application process. In the guide, “What It Really Takes to Get Into Ivy League and Other Highly Selective Colleges”, Chuck Hughes lists the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel first in discussing, “the top scholarship programs particularly noted for producing winners who year after year are among the strongest candidates for admissions to highly selective institutions.”
Applications for the 2014 Fellowships are available online. The North American application can found at www.bronfman.org and must be submitted online by January 6, 2014. High school students in the United States and Canada who self-identify as Jewish and who will be in the twelfth grade in the fall of 2014 are eligible to apply. Israeli applicants can apply at www.amitei-bronfman.org, the deadline is December 15, 2013. BYFI is a pluralistic program for Jews of all backgrounds; prior Jewish education is not required. Students are chosen not on the basis of financial need but on merit alone.
Edgar M. Bronfman’s philanthropy focuses on projects dedicated to fostering a Jewish renaissance including Hillel: The Foundation for Campus Jewish Life, The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, and MyJewishLearning, Inc.