What We Learn

What do you learn on The Bronfman Fellowship? 

Throughout the Fellowship, Fellows achieve a deeper understanding of themselves and one another through exploring Jewish ideas and texts. They meet with great thinkers who are asking big questions, visit sites around Israel, and study text that range from traditional materials to contemporary Israeli and American voices. The texts we study ask, and work to answer, stimulating existential questions.

The Bronfman Fellowship is at the forefront of Jewish education. Our diverse faculty of Rabbis and educators create an atmosphere of intellectual openness, in which deep thinkers and questioners feel at home and also challenged.

Our unique learning atmosphere is marked by depth, rigor, personal relevance, and learning for the sake of learning. Fellows are able to pursue interests, passions, and modes of thinking that they may not be able to explore during the school year. The Fellowship is not a for-credit program, nor are Fellows given any homework or assignments outside of their daytime seminars.

Here are some examples of our seminars, taught by resident faculty members, and speakers.

Sample Seminar topics:

Sensuality and the Sages: Beauty, Seduction and Romance in Rabbinic Literature

Talmudic Science and Superstition

A Documentary History of the Israeli-Palestinian Encounter 

Contemporary Hebrew Poems in Dialogue with the Bible 

Rabbinic Revolutions: Talmud Sanhedrin’s Incorrigible Son 

American Judaism: Thinking Historically  

Intellectual Roots of the Zionist Idea


Sample Speakers: 

Etgar Keret - Contemporary Israeli author of short stories and novels including The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God. 

Rabba Tamar Elad-Appelbaum – Named one of The Forward’s Top 5 Female Religious leaders in Israel for her work promoting pluralism and Jewish social engagement.

Anat Hoffman – Founding member of Women of the Wall and Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center.

A.B. Yehoshua – Israeli novelist, essayist, and playwright.

Dara Horn (Bronfman ‘94) - Award-winning American author of The World to Come, A Guide for the Perplexed and Eternal Life.


Sample Documents:

Note that the Fellowship's faculty, speakers, and seminars change from year to year.  However, the following documents from the 2017 Fellowship summer give you a sense of what and how Fellows learn.

2017 Shiurim Seminar Topics

2017 Speaker Bios