Fill out this short form to have a one-on-one conversation with one of these recent Fellows.
Elke Bentley ’22
High School: Maimonides School
Background: I’m from a primarily liberal Modern Orthodox background. I’m currently learning at Yeshivat Drisha in Israel.
Relationship to Judaism in high school: Community; Learning; Connection.
Favorite high school hobbies/interests: Playing musical instruments/making music; learning languages; reading.
Most interesting class you’ve taken in high school or college so far: Foundations of Philosophy.
One reason you think someone should apply to Bronfman: To broaden their understanding of what it means to be a part of the Jewish community.
What aspects of Bronfman you’d especially like to talk to prospective applicants about: I’d love to talk about any aspect of Bronfman with prospective applicants!
Julian Bertet ’19
High School: I went to North Hollywood High School.
Background: My family belongs to a Conservative Synagogue in Los Angeles, but I don’t really align myself with any particular denomination of Judaism. As someone whose family heralds from both Morocco and Eastern Europe, my Jewishness is constant and reflects a variety of traditions.
Relationship to Judaism in high school: In high school, Judaism seemed stagnant to me: I never made any effort to pursue pluralism. Judaism was a religion and a duty, it was a privilege that my ancestors were persecuted for practicing.
Favorite high school hobbies/interests: In high school, I was involved with choir and Model United Nations.
Most interesting class you’ve taken in college so far: Sociology of the Family, an analysis of different sociological factors shaping family construction in the United States.
One reason you think someone should apply to Bronfman: I think that Bronfman helped me understand my place in and relationship to Judaism and I would encourage anyone looking for an opportunity to engage with Judaism in a pluralistic setting ought to apply to the fellowship.
Ilan Brusso ’22
High School: The Leffell School
Background: Hi! I’m Ilan Brusso (he/him), a Conservative Jew from New York who is very much a product of Jewish day school and Jewish sleepaway camp, although one of my favorite parts of Bronfman was meeting other Jews who weren’t. To me, Judaism means many things. It is connection to family and community, and an intellectual heritage that calls upon all of us to maintain ageless, at times inconvenient, values and morals regardless of the era we find ourselves in. Also Matzo Balls.
Relationship to Judaism in high school: Strong, occasionally transactional, familial
Favorite high school hobbies/interests: Mock Trial. Volunteering with special needs/neurodivergent populations. Student Government.
Most interesting class you’ve taken in college so far: Witches and Vixens: Nasty Women in Ancient Greece and Rome.
One reason you think someone should apply to Bronfman: To meet the literal best people in the world and in a space that is long and contained enough that you can convince them to be your friend 🙂
What aspects of Bronfman you’d especially like to talk to prospective applicants about: Any and all! How Bronfman compares to Jewish camps, how to have fun during the summer and how to write an application that best reflects your individual strengths!
Katje Bulthuis ’21
High School: Logan High School, Utah
Background: I grew up in rural Utah and converted to Judaism as a teenager.
Relationship to Judaism in high school: New, Homecoming, Chosen Family
Favorite high school hobbies/interests: I was heavily involved with my high school’s German and Theatre programs.
Title of most interesting class taken in college so far: In high school, I chose to take AP Psychology and loved it! It was a new way to explore my interests in linguistics, and sparked an interest in neuroscience, especially as it pertains to drug use and recovery.
One reason someone should apply to Bronfman: My Utah shul is very much an extension of my family. That being said, there were a lot of aspects of Jewish community that I felt were missing from my life. My friends from the fellowship introduced me to new practices, ideas, and ways of thinking, and we are still close today. I fell even further in love with Judaism and various Jewish practices (which I didn’t think possible, as I already loved it so much).
Aspects of Bronfman you’d especially like to talk about: I am open to talking to fellows who are coming to Bronfman from what might feel like an unconventional path. I can speak well to the experience of coming from a rural background and an interfaith family.
Beverly Cohen ’21
High School: The Marlborough School, CA
Background: I was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up Modern Orthodox. I am a member of the Muscogee (Creek) nation and currently a student at Wellesley College.
Relationship to Judaism in high school: Freeing, connective, academic
Favorite high school hobbies/interests: Political activism, Community outreach/volunteering, Mental health advocacy, Theater
Title of most interesting class taken in high school or college so far: Jesus of Nazareth religious seminar
One reason someone should apply to Bronfman: Bronfman was an incredible experience- I felt that I had never met so many young Jews so excited about practicing in a way that is individually meaningful to them. Being at Bronfman allowed me to further understand what I wanted out of my Jewish identity as I become more independent.
Aspects of Bronfman you’d especially like to talk about: Queer community at Bronfman, Jews of Color community at Bronfman, religious exploration/identity
Devorah Feder ’20
High School: Maimonides High School, a Modern-Orthodox Jewish day school.
Background: I grew up in a Modern-Orthodox Jewish community in Sharon, MA and attended Jewish day schools through 12th grade. I spent a year in Israel at Midreshet Ein Hanatziv, an Israeli seminary, before starting at Yale where I’m currently a sophomore. I live a very Jewishly involved and observant life.
Relationship to Judaism in high school: intellectually stimulating, patriarchal, frustrating
Favorite high school hobbies/interests: Playing on my school’s basketball and tennis teams; competing in Moot Beit Din/Moot Court Competitions; volunteering in the art studio of a Boston shelter
Title of most interesting class taken in college so far: Painting Basics, a class I took my first semester that I absolutely loved.
One reason someone should apply to Bronfman: To put your life and experiences into conversation with the lives of other Jewishly-minded and critically-thinking peers.
Aspects of Bronfman you’d especially like to talk about:The wonderful community and social environment; the unique relationships with Bronfman faculty/staff; finding yourself Jewishly in a religiously pluralistic group and what that pluralism looks and feels like.
Sam Rosen ’22
High School: Lakehill Preparatory School, TX
Background: I am a wasian reform Jew from Dallas, Tx. I tend to lean to the center left on most political views and I love movies.
Relationship to Judaism in high school: Community, Tradition/family/history, grounding
Favorite high school hobbies/interests: Thrifting, Track & Field, Rock Climbing
Title of most interesting class taken in college so far: Modern Black History
One reason someone should apply to Bronfman: Bronfman provided a supportive environment in which I was able to learn about a side of Judaism I never knew existed. Also free food, housing, and travel.
Aspects of Bronfman you’d especially like to talk about: The time that we spend not learning.
Ilan Weiner ’22
Where you attended high school: SAR High School
Background: Hi, my name is Ilan Weiner and I am currently taking a gap year studying in a Yeshiva in the old city of Jerusalem before beginning college. I grew up in a modern orthodox family and attended a modern orthodox day school my entire life.
Relationship to Judaism in high school: Rigorous study of Jewish text. Observance and rituals connected me to my community. Spending time in Israel and Zionism are very important to me
Favorite high school hobbies/interests or activities: Model UN. Behavioral Economics Club. Fantasy football
Title of the most interesting class taken in college or high school: I love my Morning Seder (Talmud learning) in Yeshiva.
One reason you think someone should apply to Bronfman: For the right kid, having deep discussions with Jewish people from all different backgrounds and perspectives is actually super fun.
What aspects of Bronfman you’d especially like to talk to prospective applicants about: What it’s like to be shomer Shabbat. What it’s like coming from the modern Orthodox community. What kind of topics and texts you will learn
We are shocked and heartbroken by the events in Israel, and we are holding our Israeli community close during this tragic time. We feel it is more important than ever to continue our work of building a vibrant and diverse Jewish community, developing leadership in the Jewish world and beyond, and helping teens connect deeply with the Jewish experience and people in Israel and America. View our resources page.
Applications are open!
Apply Now for the 2024 Bronfman Fellowship.
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