About Us

 

 

The Bronfman Fellowship is a vibrant network of 1,100+ young Jews from Israel and North America that includes some of today’s most inspiring Jewish writers, thinkers and leaders. The Fellowship taps future influencers at a formative point in their lives and immerse them in an intensive exploration of Jewish text study, pluralism and social responsibility.

 

Founded in 1987 by Edgar M. Bronfman, BYFI is today the flagship program for outstanding young Jews in North America and Israel. The Fellowships reflect Mr. Bronfman’s early and impassioned belief that for the Jewish people to thrive, Israeli and American Jews must be engaged in open and creative discourse with one another. The alumni embody Mr. Bronfman’s vision that young people who are enriched and energized by their Judaism are poised to contribute not only to Jewish life, but to improving the world. 

Through a highly selective process, BYFI recruits high school juniors to participate in transformational educational experiences in Israel and North America. BYFI Fellows become part of this vibrant, life-long alumni community that inspires and supports each other. 

Read more about us in our 2015 Annual Report

Our Mission Statement:

The goal of The Bronfman Fellowship is for Fellows to become active participants, leaders, and agents for change in the Jewish and wider world. Our programs are guided by the following values:

-Jewish learning: We believe the revitalization of Jewish life begins with substantive and dynamic Jewish learning. Jews might practice their Judaism differently, but learning brings them together for a deep exchange of horizons. Our Fellowship program provides both a context and a catalyst for the study of Jewish texts, traditions, history, and culture through an approach that is intellectually challenging and existentially engaging. 

-Pluralism: The diversity of Jewish life in North America and Israel can be a source of creativity and vitality, rather than discord and division. We hope to foster generations of Jews who respect the varied forms of Jewish expression as authentic and valid, who will promote pluralism as a value in the Jewish community, and who will exemplify honest and respectful dialogue and friendship among Jews of different backgrounds and perspectives. 

-Deep Engagement Between Jews in Israel and North America: The future of North American Jewry is bound up with the future of the Jewish people in Israel and around the world. We believe that ongoing encounters between North American and Israeli Jews are vital to nurturing our shared sense of identity and purpose, alongside engaging in difficult conversations about the challenges both communities face.

-Social Activism:  Judaism calls for responsible engagement with the world around us. We seek to empower Fellows to take responsibility for applying their talents to solve significant social, economic, and environmental problems in their local communities, both within and beyond the Jewish community.