Amitei Bronfman is The Bronfman Fellowship’s Israeli program. Launched in 1998, the Amitim program consists of a year-long series of educational seminars for a diverse group of 20 Israeli high school juniors, including an all-expense-paid trip to North America. The selected Fellows are from varied religious, socio-economic, and ideological backgrounds. Discussion topics range from identity and communal relationships with Judaism and Jewish culture, to social and secular relationships.
The goal of these seminars is to explore and strengthen the ties between groups of differing beliefs by fostering lasting and deep friendships between individuals. More broadly, the program aims to develop thoughtful young leaders with a sense of social and communal responsibility.
In accordance with The Bronfman Fellowship’s belief that Israeli and American Jews must learn from and develop meaningful relationships with each other, the Amitim and the North American Fellows spend 10 days together in a context seminar during the summer. Later in the year, the Amitim travel to the United States to meet again with the American Fellows and to further enhance their understanding of American Jewish life.
Visit the Amitim website (Hebrew): bronfman.org.il.
Testimonials from Amitim:
“Each conversation with my fellow Amitim was fascinating. I have never met people with such different world views… I can have a conversation about the deepest things in the world, and then right after that we will crack out laughing. We could reach immense depth and still be comfortable around each other, and simply enjoy each other’s company.” – Shira Benbaji ‘20
“While in the past I would keep many things to myself, things I thought are not worth saying, I know now that my voice is unique and important, and has its place. I learned that there is room for me to take part and share my opinion, and to lead the conversation.” – Adva Lejishal ‘20
“I got to see so many different kinds of Jewish identities, both in Israel and North America. I feel like I’m discovering worlds outside the bubble I’ve lived in, and that now I can choose my Jewish way of life from a thoughtful place rather than a place of ignorance… My Jewish life has become deeper and broader. I am infinitely grateful for this transformation.” – Uria Bin Nun ‘19
“Meeting the American Fellows was a truly eye-opening experience. It opened me up to a whole new way of thinking about Judaism and Jewish peoplehood, and what our responsibilities are to each other. It’s given me a better understanding of my own identity, and led me to choose a gap year that involves Israelites and North Americans, as I see how our backgrounds and stories shape us.” – Dana Juliusburger ‘15
“I do not think I would have … the wish to absorb more from people and from Israeli society, were it not for this program. It shaped me and continues to shape every small thing in my life.” – Noy Yosef ‘15
“The program was a milestone from the viewpoint of my self-esteem and appreciating my abilities… I feel a deep debt of gratitude to the program for the deep change it made in me by helping me find direction in my life.” – Rotem Kliger ’12
“The program to a great extent shaped my personality, and my openness to the wide diversity of the Israeli and Jewish community.” – Ayellet Bendor ’11
“Ten years later, I am still constantly excited by the experience of becoming part of this community, first as an Amit, then as an alum… A culture of deep studying, new worlds of content and unique people opened up for me. It’s a gift to be part of a community that puts its faith in dialogue and sees the variety of our society as a virtue to be proud of, and not a barrier. At age 17, and age 27, it gives me tremendous support and strength to know that with each step in life, I have Bronfman as a circle of belonging.” – Ben Luria ‘11