In the summer between their junior and senior year of high school, Bronfman Fellows come together for an all-expenses-paid, immersive experience which, in 2021, will be located in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains in Connecticut. Here’s a glimpse into what a day in the life will be like during this transformative summer program. After the Fellowship summer, the Fellowship year continues with a wide range of immersive programming, seminars, and intellectually adventurous activities.
8:15 am: Breakfast. Wake up to the sound of birdsong outside your cabin in the woods. Enjoy the beautiful campus in the Berkshires that we have all to ourselves – there’s a serene lake, hiking trails, even the opportunity for yoga in a yurt. In the cafeteria, the food is fresh and organic, with much of it coming from the retreat center’s own farm and orchard.
9:00 am: Shiur (Learning). There are four faculty members – Rabbis, professors and educators – who teach rotating discussion seminars using a wide range of Jewish texts and sources. Some recent topics include “God in All Moments: The Spiritual Practices of the Hasidic Masters,” “‘A Jew in the World’ Modern Jewish Thinkers,” and “Genesis, Midrash (interpretive stories) and Literature.”
9:45 am: Break. Grab a snack from the kitchen, take a short hike to visit the goats, chat with a faculty member or hang out with other Fellows on the lawn.
10:30 am: Interactive workshop on “Who am I and how do I know that this is who I am?” This is one of the many opportunities you’ll have to deeply explore your views on a topic, test out your assumptions, engage in stimulating conversation, and get to know the other Fellows.
11:30 am: Free time. Go swimming in the lake or the pool, read a book, play an instrument you brought with you from home, and spend time with friends.
12:45 pm: Lunch. Delicious, farm-to-table food in the retreat center’s cafeteria.
1:30 pm: Guest speaker Jonathan Haidt. Hear from Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist and author, on “The Righteous Mind and Moral Matrices.” This intimate session will offer plenty of time to ask Dr. Haidt questions and engage in discussion.
3:30 pm: Roll up your sleeves for an arts workshop. Get your creative juices flowing as you participate in a hands-on workshop by one of our Visiting Artists in poetry, visual narrative, theater, or music. Write your own monologue, make a collage, compose a song, access your inner poet . . . the possibilities are endless!
5:30 pm: Hiking and dinner. Free time to journal and relax before dinner.
7:00 pm: Concert/ Dance Party. Enjoy a performance by one of our Visiting Artists. There’s bound to be plenty of singing, dancing, and laughter.
8:30 pm: Free time. Lie on the grass and do some stargazing, take a flashlight for a night hike, or make S’mores on the campfire.
9:15 pm: Debrief and plans for the following day. Madrichim (Counselors) and Fellows chat about the upcoming schedule and takeaways from the day’s adventures.
9:30 pm: Free time. Hang out in our Mo’adon (common room).
11:00 pm: Quiet. Bedtime for some, while conversations for others continue well into the night.