Fellowship Programming During COVID-19*

Press release October 21, 2020: The Bronfman Fellowship to Hold Summer 2021 Program in Berkshires

2021 Fellows:

We are planning to host our 2021 Summer program in-person at Isabella Freedman Retreat Center in Connecticut. This one-time decision to hold our summer experience in the U.S. instead of Israel was made in close consultation with public health experts, in response to the pandemic. Safety is of paramount concern to the Fellowship. Locating the program domestically in 2021 offers the greatest possible opportunity to safely bring our group together for the summer and continue our tradition of immersive in-person learning and community-building.

Learn more about the plan for Summer 2021 and the rest of the Fellowship year.

2020 Fellows:

Our 2020 Fellows have completed the summer portion of their Bronfman Fellowship year, and they’re still buzzing with excitement from their virtual immersive experience. They formed deep friendships, took part in intense intellectual debates, talked late into the night with their “roommates,” sang together, bonded over movie nights and virtual sleepovers, engaged with challenging speakers and educators, and delved deeply into a rich tapestry of Jewish ideas and perspectives. In many ways, it was a typical (as in, “typically extraordinary”) Fellowship summer!

Programming highlights:

  • Our faculty and guest speakers are as pluralistic, dynamic, and intellectually challenging as ever.
    • Read more about our faculty-led shiurim (seminars) and guest speakers.
    • Get a glimpse into our Fellows’ Identity Seminar.
  • The N. American and Israeli Fellows are meeting in small groups online to allow them to have more personal, in-depth conversations with one another.
  • For the first time, we added arts tracks to our curriculum, taught by leading innovators in the field of Jewish art. The workshops use art to bring Fellows together and empower them to add their voices to Jewish life. Before the summer started, Fellows received a box of art supplies and other items to get their creative juices flowing. Read more about our arts tracks.

Fellows will continue their Fellowship-year experience after the summer.

Our Programming and Education Director, Jake Marmer, has written about how we’re creating an immersive educational community online.

Our Approach to Safety During COVID-19

The health and safety of our Fellows and staff has always been our top priority. It is our hope and plan that the 2021 Fellows will meet in person. In proceeding with domestic in-person programming for 2021, we are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Camping Association (ACA), Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), and state departments of health.

COVID Safety Guidelines:

  • We will always pay heed to local, national and international directives for travel and group gathering.
  • We will only convene the group in person if it is deemed safe enough to do so by health authorities, if it is possible for all Fellows to travel to and from the venue safely, and for our time together to be as natural and as minimally restrictive as possible.
  • We are committed to remaining as flexible and adaptable as possible, making our programming in-person or remote as the current health situation warrants.

*We will be updating this page as the Fellowship year progresses, so please check back.