Testimonials from Fellows & Alumni

Before Bronfman, I didn't fully grasp the power of understanding other narratives, and how important it is to see things from more than one perspective. Now, I see everyone in my life differently because of it.

- Yoni Altman-Shafer (’17)


The Bronfman Fellowship has introduced me to a deeper, more meaningful way of thinking about all that is engaging and challenging. I've met the most incredibly curious, open-minded, and cohesive [group of] peers this summer with whom I am excited to continue learning with.

- Shulie Smolyanitsky (’17)


“Ultimately, I intend to live my life with more intention and vision as a result of Bronfman, working to be more productive with my time in order to be a more vigorous learner, Jew, and person.”

- Gabi Wallk (’17)


The Bronfman Fellowship brought me into a community of lifelong fellows, with whom I am always able to discuss intellectual issues. It's an opportunity to talk to interested people about different ideas and issues.

- Dotan Applebaum (’16)


Bronfman was a summer of extending, transcending differences, swimming across canyons to meet one another halfway.  For that, I am forever grateful.

- Chaya Holch (’16)


“My Bronfman Fellowship experience transformed how I view friendship, community and learning. Over the fellowship I developed lifelong bonds, felt the warmth of an incredible group, and approached texts with passionate intensity. I experienced a thrilling level of vulnerability with those around me.”

- Isaiah Milbauer (’16)


The Bronfman Fellowship feels like an extended family who has always been there for me and supported me. I made some of my strongest friendships through Bronfman and also gained an enlarged sense of my identity as a Jew.

- Elliot Mamet (’10)


The Fellowship and the lifelong community have helped me find my voice as a member of and leader in the Jewish community and given me the confidence that I can help shape and improve it!

- Joseph Rashba (’10)


My Bronfman experience was important to me because of the reference points it has given me for the rest of my life. The songs I learned over my Bronfman summer are the songs I still listen to today. The friends I made remain some of the friends I depend on most. The debates I had then are the ones I continue to have today. The texts I studied with Bronfman are the ones that I think about and share most often. The questions I asked of myself and of others are the questions I’m still asking today.

- Stephen Rutman (’09)


Bronfman is a place where I can always find someone to have a fascinating conversation with. It's a community that appreciates openness, accountability, and challenges.  Bronfman cares deeply about the personal growth of each fellow and as an alumna and former employee I feel grateful for that dedicated care.

- Daphna Ezrachi (’05)


“Bronfman is my Jewish community—it keeps me engaged with texts, seeing the world through a Jewish lens, maintaining a meaningful set of religious practices, thinking critically about Israel and the Diaspora, and socializing across a truly pluralistic community. Not only that: Bronfman has given me five of my dearest and deepest friendships, and continues to offer new opportunity for connection.”

- Ryder Kessler (’03)


I am consistently impressed by the caliber of people who are Bronfman Fellows. Every moment with a Bronfman Fellow leads to thoughtful, meaningful conversation and reflection.

- Danny Greene (’00)


I have always loved the study of Torah and Talmud and have never been able to devote myself entirely to it, so the Fellowship was a much-welcomed chance to work with learned teachers and committed fellow students.

- Marisa Harford ('96)


On the trip, many of my misconceptions and gaps in knowledge about the different denominations were corrected and filled, respectively.

- Sheila Nazarian ('96)


“Bronfman is not merely a fun trip.  In fact, it's not really a collective trip, but an individual journey.”

- Ilana Lapid ('94)


The summer made me more aware of how much there is out there in terms of Jewish experience; how many different perspectives there are within our culture.

- Rachel Gordon ('94)


“Bronfman was an important step in my growing as a person.  It challenged my thinking in many different ways, made me look differently at some aspects of Judaism and religion in general.  It made me ask many questions that I hadn't thought of before.”

- Anya Shifman ('93)


The program's stress on intensive study of our heritage and the tolerance and respect shown to all participants irrespective of their opinions guides me in my study and interaction with others to this day.

- Zvi Shimon ('88)


The Bronfman experience continues to impact my life today because it was really my first opportunity to live in a non-denominational, intellectual, committed Jewish community.

- Sheila Jelen ('87)