The Bronfman Fellowships - 25 Year Retrospective

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Top Row: Zane Hellman, Gabe Fisher, Max Weiss, Josh Leifer, Daniel Liss, Hannah Gorman, Sam Maron, Avital Morris, Dvir Cahana, Elena Hoffenberg, Rafi Ellenson, Jake Zucker, Ari Allen, David Milewicz, Ayelet Wenger Bottom Row: Anna Meixler, Maya Rosen, Chava Lansky, Dalia Wolfson, Becca Bakal, Rachel Glazer, Emma Goldberg, Lea Luterstein, Anya Tudisco, Ben Wolfson, Alex Maged

Opinions expressed are those of contributors and do not represent the official positions of The Bronfman Fellowships. For more information about the Bronfman Fellowships: For more information about the Amitei Bronfman program: We are grateful to The Samuel Bronfman Foundation for their ongoing support and vision.

Top Row: Rachel Nussbaum, Vanessa Ochs, Avichai Bass, Daniel Krane, Aitan Groener, Jessi Glueck, Michael Avi-Yonah, Gabrielle Kirsch, Ilan Mandil, Matt Landes, Zach Young, Jacob Shapiro, Grant Glazer Middle Row: Sophie Kasakove, Emily Goldberg, Gabriela Hoberman, Tamar Lindenbaum, Rachelli Baruch, Reyna Schaechter, Elon Swartz, Claire Lazar, Yosi Yeshaya Bottom Row: Zohar Zion, Mishael Zion, Yasmine Eichbaum, Lital Firestone, Leora Balinsky, Talya Nevins, Brandon Kaplowitz, Talia Rothstein Missing: Harry Wexner


bronfmanim 1987—2012 C o m m e m o r at i v e e d i t i o n i n h o n o r o f

25 years of the Bronfman fellowships

In these pages Letter from Rabbi Mishael Zion and Rebecca Voorwinde, co-Directors.......................................... 2 Edgar Bronfman............................................................................................................ 3 Adam Bronfman............................................................................................................ 4 Year One: Reflections by Randi Cairns (‘87) .......................................................................................... 5 Year Five: Reflections by Nahanni Rous (‘92).......................................................................................... 8


Ava’s Archives................................................................................................................................. 10 Year Ten: Reflections by Becky Voorwinde (‘97)................................................................................... 12 In Search of True Learning: A Conversation with Alumni in Education............................................. 14



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Elisabeth Cohen (‘01) Sarah Beller (‘98) Rick Brody (‘90) Michelle Lynn-Sachs (‘88)

Year Fifteen: Reflections by Yonah Krakowsky (‘02)............................................................................ 16 Make a Teacher, Acquire a Friend: 8 Opinions, 1 Mishnah......................................................... 17 Year Twenty: Reflections by Yasha Magarik (‘07)................................................................................. 21 Alumni Venture Fund in Action: Kevah...................................................................................... 22 Amitei Bronfman, BYFI’s Israeli Fellowship .......................................................................................... 23

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Year Twenty-Five: Artwork by Anna Meixler (‘11)................................................................................ 24 Directory................................................................................................................................................... 25


Rabbi Mishael Zion and Becky Voorwinde, Co-Directors Albany Office 163 Delaware Avenue Suite 102 Delmar, NY 12054

New York City Office 375 Park Avenue 17th Floor New York, NY 10152

Ava Charne, Administrative Director Rachel Eson, Administrative Assistant Heather Smith, Accounts Manager Ned Foss, CFO

Becky Voorwinde, Director of Strategy and Community Engagement Rabbi Mishael Zion, Director of Education Naamah Paley, Senior Program Officer Edie Joseph, BYFI Staff Fellow

Magazine editors: Rachel Cohen (‘05) & Edie Joseph (‘07) Magazine design by pak creative

Israel Office 14 Hillel Street Jerusalem Tova Serkin, Director of Israel Operations Omry Livny, Logistics Coordinator Daphna Ezrachi, Alumni Project Associate

A few months ago, over a drink with an alumnus, the topic turned to the question of what his Bronfman experience means to him in his daily life. He shared the following insight: “I work in finance. Everyone around me is constantly asking: ‘What are the rules of the game, and how can I win?’ Whenever I spend time with Bronfmanim, though, we find ourselves asking something different: ‘What should the rules of the game be?’” He explained that he acquired the reflex to ask that question on Bronfman. For us, this story summarizes what the Bronfman Fellowships means in the world: a Jewish community that inspires moral questions and individuals who seek to answer these questions through their actions. Bronfmanim seek diverse answers to their questions, and revel in hearing opposite opinions. And Bronfmanim feel a sense of ownership in their own communities to step up and ask these questions when no one else is. We chose the quintessential Bronfman Mishnah, “make for yourself a teacher, acquire for yourself a friend,” as the maxim of this weekend because it is the commitment to companionship and to learning that is the fuel for asking such questions. But at the end of the day, it is the third part of the Mishnah that might be most needed today: “Judge all humans to the positive.” There is something perennially optimistic about the Bronfman Fellowship. We welcome a healthy dose of sarcasm, but have no tolerance for cynicism. To invest in relationships requires an optimism in people, seeing the positive in them as “who they really are.” Even as we turn from a community of (wide-eyed) “youth” to one of (slightly jaded?) adults, we strive to maintain that spirit of optimism. In a time of growing cynicism and despair towards those who differ from us, BYFI is committed to turning “others” into friends and teachers. As co-Directors of the Fellowship we ask ourselves each day: how can BYFI be a resource to you — our alumni — in your action in the world, and how can our Bronfmanim be a resource for the Jewish future? We are taking this 25th year as a moment to ask deep questions. Where we take BYFI in the next 25 years is our collective challenge, and we invite you to join us in this work. We are deeply grateful to the educators that have served as directors and faculty of BYFI and to our dedicated staff in Albany, Israel and New York. Our alumni, specifically the members of the Alumni Advisory Board, serve as a constant inspiration. From day one, the vision of BYFI has been that of Edgar Bronfman. Today, as Adam Bronfman joins his father in this important work, BYFI is poised for ongoing relevance. Adam and Edgar are people who ask sharp questions about the way things should be. The name ‘Bronfman’ is synonymous with real inquiry and action; Bronfmanim proudly inherit this legacy. Yours,

Rabbi Mishael Zion & Rebecca Voorwinde co-Directors


Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

It gives me great pride to celebrate and reflect on 25 years of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships. What began as a vision for the future of Jewish individuals has turned into a realized community of Jewish pioneers. Founding BYFI was an investment in long-term change for the Jewish community, the results of which I never could have predicted. I am proud to see the fruits of the investment I made 25 years ago, as alumni of BYFI have come to represent the ideal of what a thoughtful, informed Jewish community can look like. As president of the World Jewish Congress in the 1980’s, I noticed a fractured relationship among interdenominational Jewish leaders. My hopes for BYFI were to create a cadre of young Jews of different affiliations who could learn to speak to, and more importantly listen to, one another, thus bringing a level of mutual respect to the conversations of the Jewish community. I commend the entire BYFI community for being one that supports its own development by nurturing one another. The alumni community has become a model for communal philanthropy, giving back to fellow alumni projects through the Alumni Venture Fund. This is a community of Jews who support each other’s growth. As someone who cares deeply for the Jewish community, I know there is constantly a new stream of challenges we must rise to meet. I see alumni tackling these challenges as they reimagine text study, inclusion, prayer, and American-Israeli relations for the Jewish community. I am confident the BYFI alumni will meet the changing needs of our people. It is on account of my numerous personal connections with much of the BYFI community that I have been allowed to remain attuned to these ever-changing needs of the Jewish community. When I think of the verse, “Acquire yourself a teacher, make yourself a friend,” my friends of the BYFI community come to mind. It is always my first inclination to turn to BYFI alumni for guidance and assistance in our Jewish work. Many have become far more than teachers, but truly close friends. Though we may each carry our own views on Judaism, we always find a way to learn from one another. The BYFI community is indeed a diverse one, but all share the feeling that this is a special group. I have watched each cohort blossom during the five weeks of BYFI tutelage into a lifetime of Jewish pride and knowledge. While we have reached a great benchmark for BYFI, I am very excited to see what this community has yet to accomplish. As I have said several times before, no group gives me more hope for our people’s future than the “Bronfmanim.” Your accomplishments and erudition as Jews — whatever you do or do not believe —gives me great pride in founding BYFI. Thank you all for giving me such nachas.

Edgar M. Bronfman Founder of BYFI President of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation


I find it hard to believe that it has been twenty five yeas since my father had a simple idea to bring North American Jews of dissimilar backgrounds together for a summer program of study. He said it was important that Jews who would not ordinarily mix find a common language. The BYFI started as a simple yet powerful idea. Some ideas do not flourish. This one has. Due to the dedication and the unique nature of the directors, the educators, the staff, and most importantly the fellows, what has grown is far beyond the original idea. We live in a world of unintended consequences. Often those consequences seem negative in nature. Yet the breadth and depth of the community that has grown over this quarter century is staggeringly positive. The reach of the programs started by fellows, the impact fellows are having in communities across the globe, the profound contributions society feels as a result of the work fellows are doing is beyond any my father could have imagined at the inception. My father told me many times that the duty of a person is to leave this world a better place than the one we find. The amount of contribution is not the point, but the effort is. I stand in awe of the success he has had through the BYFI. More importantly, together, the Bronfman community is a loose collective improving the world while teaching and mentoring others to find unique ways to do the same. It is a great honor for me to be associated with the BYFI, to have the privilege to work with so many of the alumni, and to inhabit a world that is a better place because of all you do. Thanks!

Adam R. Bronfman Managing Director of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation


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25 Years of the Fellowship



Year One: Reflections by Randi Cairns (‘87) In 1987 I wasn’t looking for the chance to travel to Israel. I wasn’t looking to commune with like-minded young folks or to explore my Judaism. I was looking for escape. Home wasn’t a great place to be and I was glad to situate myself anywhere but there. The application for BYFI’s inaugural summer sat on my desk for a long time while I fought with my demons — I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, accomplished enough to meet their criteria. It wasn’t long before the application landed in a crinkly mess at the bottom of my trash can. To this day, I still can’t tell you why I dug into the garbage to retrieve it, gently smooth out the wrinkles and send it on its way. But when I reflect on the pivotal moments in my life when I look back and think, “what would have happened if that played out differently?” — that moment stands out even now. Perhaps it was the first time someone else saw the person I wanted to see when I looked in the mirror — full of promise and potential and with something to contribute. She hadn’t appeared yet for me as I faced my reflection, but as I packed my bags for Israel I promised myself I’d keep my eyes open for her.

The Edgar M. Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel founded

92 89

First class of BYFI alumni graduate from college

First woman rabbi on faculty of BYFI summer program

It was an amazing summer. Turns out I loved traveling to Israel and loved even more having the opportunity to commune with like-minded (or, just as often, opposite-minded) young folks. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who, even if only for a short time, came back with a new lease on “Jewish” life. But home

the trials and tribulations of military families such as my own. If I could speak up for everyone else now, perhaps it was time to speak up for me. Better yet, perhaps my own story could give voice to other military families.

was still there waiting for me at the end of the summer and not home in the warm-fuzzy-home-is-where-your-heart-is way. I picked up the story that was my life right where I’d gladly left it weeks ago. But this time, I brought in backup. Friends from coast to coast were there and filled the empty places. Memories of Goldstein Youth Village (and venues across Israel) where I spoke and people listened reminded me that I was heard and that my voice mattered.

creation of Home Front Hearts. And as was true with most important junctures in my life, here too was The Bronfman Fellowships. BYFI alumni have sat on our board since our inception. The staff and organization has afforded opportunities for professional development (and lovingly fielded more than their fair share of “what the hell am I doing” communications). BYFI Alumni Venture Fund funding has supported Home Front Hearts initiatives. Together, we have provided food and shelter to military families struggling to make ends meet; spread holiday magic for military children; provided pro bono professional services; educated communities about the needs of military families; and engaged their support and involvement. In short, the Bronfman Fellowships alumni community has, in ways small and large, helped us do our work in this world.

So I started speaking up. Already a bit of a Mama Bear (and proud recipient of the first annual BYFI Dr. Spock Parenting Award), I began to use my voice for others. I pursued Psychology and then Human Service degrees and found my life work entrenched in arenas that provided support and advocacy for others. Medically fragile folks, abused children, the special needs community — if there was a vulnerable population out there, I was in the middle of it and working to improve quality of life. I was driven by a desire to let them know that their voices too mattered and I was committed to helping them author better stories. But I realized in the midst of all this that I wasn’t telling my own story. Now a military wife and mother of four, I was in unchartered waters for me. And there weren’t too many people worried about

This realization was the impetus for the

For this military family, this same community has been a source of information and compassionate care. When my sister died unexpectedly, there was an outpouring of sympathy and help with estate challenges. When we first struggled with my oldest daughter’s chronic illness, there were specialist referrals and phone consultations. Whenever my family faced difficult territory that exceeded my own skillset, the BYFI community could be relied upon to be there.



Keshet Boston founded to promote inclusiveness for GLBT Jews. Idit Klein (BYFI ’89) serves as Executive Director. The organization is a BYFI AVF grantee


Rabbi Avi Weinstein, BYFI’s Executive Director, joins Hillel International staff

Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses & Rabbi Shimon Felix serve as BYFI Directors


Quotable quotes on the list serve: One of our community’s greatest strengths is its exponential growth — and not just with the addition of each year’s amazing Fellows. They (knowingly or not) bring with them “their people.” You find yourself connected with a Fellow’s mother’s co-worker or a rabbi at a synagogue that a Fellow attends and these new relationships are as comfortable as family or old friends through the seeds that BYFI has planted. “Family” is perhaps the best word for what this experience has been for me these past twenty-five years. After spending so much of my life longing for connection — here I am finally home.

Randi Cairns (Fellow ‘87) is the founder and Executive Director of Home Front Hearts, an organization that provides support and resources to the families of armed service members, increasing public awareness of the struggles and sacrifices of military families, and engaging both individuals and businesses in building communities that are responsive to the needs of these families. She is the proud mama of four children - Katie (17), PJ (15), Connor (8) and Sara (7) and she proudly declares them to be her “best work yet.”


Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

Gann Academy: The New Jewish High School founded in Boston as a pluralistic Jewish school


Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) founded to advocate for women’s increased participation in Modern Orthodox Jewish life

BYFI launches first website Amitei Bronfman program founded launched

Daniel Handler’s The Basic 8 is published; first published book by a BYFI alum


Interesting alumni

professions: Laura Liebman (’88) Director of Development, Bard Prison Initiative I feel privileged to be part of a community that cares passionately about making liberal arts education accessible to marginalized individuals and transforming the outcomes of the criminal justice system.

Daniel Liss (’11) Founder, First Laptop Project BYFI prompted me to start a nonprofit program the semester following my fellowship year. The non-profit is called First Laptop, and we refurbish used computers for the benefit of low income students. I particularly enjoy running the project because I get to see the difference we are making in students’ lives and because the project keeps me in contact with people who are just as interested in driving action in the community. This year I am starting a new chapter of First Laptop in New York City, and we’re always on the lookout for donations of used computers.

Sophie Kasakove (‘12) Musician, Claire’s Diary & Care Bears on Fire Sandra Di Capua (’02) Project Manager, Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad Hotel What I love most about what I do is that I have the opportunity to play a role in a wide array of hospitalityrelated projects, from editing cookbooks to developing new food and beverage concepts. I love that I get to spend my days surrounded by people who derive true pleasure from delivering genuine hospitality and that everything we do is with the goal of making people happy through food experiences.

I love playing in bands as a way to connect with other musicians and activists and to express my opinions about issues that are important to me.

Jesse Finkelstein (’00) Fashion Designer, JF & Son

Credited to Chester Higgins Jr. The New York Times

As featured in The New York Times in 2010, Jesse designs clothes “under the label JF & Son, a name that has been in his family since his greatgreat-great grandfather was a peddler on the Lower East Side.”



Yeshivat Chovevei Torah founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss as a progressive Modern Orthodox Rabbinical School


Social action requirement instituted for returning Bronfman Fellows


Year Five: Reflections by Nahanni Rous (‘92) In June 2004, my husband and I were “half-married” in Jerusalem. It’s not that we were half-committed; rather, we were doubly committed, at home in two places an ocean apart. At the self-styled “Hasidic Reform” shul, Kol Haneshama, we signed the Hebrew column of our ketubah (which we had written), Rabbi Levi WeimanKelman sang the Sheva Brachot, and we danced with the motley crew of Israeli and Palestinian friends we had assembled through years of peace-building work,

Rabbi Weiman-Kelman had spent an afternoon with our Bronfman cohort, educating us about the Orthodox monopoly on official Judaism in Israel.

BYFI ities on ars: v i t Ac Common tions over 25 ye applica l Tutor Schoo Hebrew ociety Honor S National r e ewspap School N uncil Co Student hestra Band/Orc

Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

Birthright Israel founded

Nearly exactly twelve years before that Friday morning (or twenty years ago today), I sat with my Bronfman friends on Shabbat, in folding chairs on a sand floor, listening to beautiful singing that seemed to rise heavenward past the roofless rafters of a nascent building. This was Kol Haneshama, under construction at the time. It was one of the shuls that I visited at the suggestion of our Bronfman teachers, who wisely advised us to sample as many kinds of synagogues as we felt comfortable with, and it was quite unlike any synagogue I had experienced in the United States.



Incorporated as The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, an independent 501c3 organization

blasting Arabic and Hebrew music on a Friday morning as the neighborhood of Bak’a prepared for Shabbat.


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I was inspired by Kol Haneshama’s egalitarian, deeply spiritual, and surprisingly traditional tefilot; these values, their prayer service implied, need not be mutually exclusive. By the time of our wedding, my husband and I were regular participants at the fully established and still vibrant Kol Haneshama, and in Levi were blessed to find both rabbi and friend, as the saying goes, “aseh lekha rav, u’k’neh lekha khaver.” Levi fully embraced our unique community of friends, and helped us craft a ceremony that marked a critical juncture in our lives. Bronfman was the beginning, a crucial step in a journey that hasn’t ended. In retrospect, I think that perhaps I felt at home on a level I did not yet fully grasp. I had the sense that I would return to Jerusalem — to this and other places, to ideas, ways of being, to exploring the essence and the boundaries of spirituality, tradition, and community. The gift of my Bronfman summer was twofold — it introduced me to places, physically and figuratively, that I could return to and it presented me with a model of community that thrived on diversity. In my adult life, I have returned to deepen my relationships to the places I first encountered that summer. I returned to live in Jerusalem for two years and then again for a dozen visits. I produced a documentary film and appeared in another, became part of a grassroots peacebuilding movement, met my husband, and made many of my closest friends there. Even more than returning to the physical places I first discovered on Bronfman, I have returned to its model of community. I grew up as one of a handful of Jews in my New Hampshire high school. Bronfman was my formative experience of a Jewish community of peers and the first time I lived among Jews from such diverse backgrounds. Over the course of the summer, we

Kehillat Hadar founded on the Upper West Side. Recipient of BYFI AVF grants


First alumni faculty member – Yehuda Kurtzer (’93)

First BYFI Intergenerational Seminar held in New York City



developed a culture in which difference sparked meaningful debate, spontaneity thrived, and deep friendships formed between Jewish kids who might have had little interaction back home. Around us, the multiplicity of Israeli society and the array of shuls we sampled on Shabbat opened my eyes to the reality of Jewish diversity; our Bronfman experience, however transient, hinted at a way diversity could become community. I have since sought to join and build communities of people with diverse and thoughtful relationships to halacha, ritual, spirituality, and the balance between Jewish and universal facets of life. I took my next steps in Israel with a Dorot Fellowship — a year-long, postgraduate program that holds many similar values to BYFI. Today, my family is part of the DC Minyan, an independent, lay-led, “traditional egalitarian” congregation, in which people of many levels of observance daven and learn together. Our daughter Shalvah attends the Jewish Primary Day School, a pluralistic Jewish elementary school which comprises an even greater range of family backgrounds. The value and practice of Jewish pluralism is well ingrained in me. At our marriage celebration in Jerusalem, I asked each of our friends to bring a piece of fabric that meant something to them. From this collection, which included a piece of my friend’s wedding dress, a knitted kippah, traditional Palestinian embroidery, and an old Seeds of Peace T-shirt, I created a colorful, eclectic patchwork chuppah, which fluttered over us at our wedding in New Hampshire, bridging the ocean that separated our life in Jerusalem and our new life as we moved back to the States. Over the next few years, I made chuppahs for friends, and then began creating them for people I didn’t know. I now have a

Favorite Bo oks on Applicati Listed on:

1987-1990 (F irst 5 Years) 5 Most Listed Favorite boo ks:  Exodus  The Scar lett  Portrait of Letter th  The Strang e Artist as Young Man er  Catch-22 2008-2012 (R ec 5 Most Listed ent 5 Years) Favorite boo ks:  Cat’s Cra dle  Everything is Illuminated  Exodus  The Foun ta  Catch-22 inhead Stayed the sa


small home business, Nahanni FabricArts, and have started to add other original Judaica items to my repertoire. I use batik, silk screening, quilting, and have incorporated family tallitot. The imagery in my chuppahs ranges from traditional — the seven species, Hebrew biblical verses, almond trees — to non-traditional — whales, butterflies, poetry, Italian pop songs. I love the opportunity to help a couple merge the personal and traditional, and to help create this space in time, this material representation of the home a couple will build together. In my memories of both events at Kol Haneshama, versions of my younger and older self mingle — a 16 year old Bronfman fellow, dazzled by the beauty of Shabbat in Jerusalem; an observer, with a newfound excitement that a life’s journey is just beginning; and older, more grounded

self, already embarked on a voyage, with a sense of belonging. Those memories super-imposed on each other give the magical impression that nothing fades with time, that all moments can be contained within one light-filled place. I am left wondering what twists and turns of life will bring me back, what future moments will unfold in that space that has grown and changed as I have.

Nahanni Rous (Fellow ’92) is a textile artist specializing in custom made chuppahs.She was the former Education Director at Just Vision, and lives with her family in Washington, DC.


Megan Lewis (’90) serves as first AAB President

Dana Raucher (’89) named Executive Director of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation


Rabbi Shimon Felix named Executive Director of BYFI

BYFI Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) formed

First Bronfman marriage – Noam Pianko (’90) and Rachel Nussbaum (’93); both are BYFI faculty

Ava’s Archives Here are 25 of my favorite memories of my 25 years with BYFI. After I wrote them, I kept thinking of more…but they will have to wait for another time. As you can see, BYFI is very special and I am so fortunate to be part of this wonderful community

1. 1987. Meeting the 25 Fellows at the airport for the Follow-up Seminar was an exciting experience. Who knew this would last 25+ years! 2. 1987. Going to DC with the Fellows for a March on Washington – to support Soviet Jewry. It was a memorable bus ride with Joe Reimer, Avi Weinstein and Michael Paley. 3. 1988. Traveling to Israel for the first time. Leaving my 2 and 5-year olds (Robyn and Tina) at home for 7 days, but only being on the ground in Israel for 4. (I also remember a really cool rap song, performed by the 88’s . . . anyone want to sing it for me?) 4. 1989. Charlie Buckholtz’s hair and earring still stand out to me. I remember being so touched that Abigail Hirsch thanked me at the 1989 orientation BYFI Fellows are so nice! 5. 1990 and 1991. This was the first year of BYFI’s publications of Emergence, our college journal. The editors Reba Connell ’87 and Karen Alexander ’88 worked so hard to make it happen. 6. 1990. Some parents felt we were too restrictive with our security guidelines in Israel, but then all of the hoopla broke out when Iraq invaded Kuwait. Let me tell you what a stressful summer that turned into. 7. 1991. We increased the group size of our Fellows to 26. A group of wonderful Fellows explored the possibility of stopping in Europe on their way home. And then the calls to parents to Israel to Ned.


Reflections bronfmanIM 2012


BYFI mission statement composed under the leadership of Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Hebrew College Rabbinical School founded as a pluralistic training ground for Rabbis. In 2006, BYFI faculty member Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld named Dean.

BIMA, pluralistic high school arts program founded by Bronfman alumni Matthew Rascoff (’96) serves as AAB President

17. 2000. On Thanksgiving weekend in 2000 nineteen alumni and 20 Israelis, Rabbi Shimon Felix, myself and other Israeli staff went to Prague for a 4-day amazing seminar. The program was rich, challenging, and varied. All the participants were moved by the various attempts to revive Jewish life in Prague. 18. 2002. We didn’t even know if we would hold the program in Israel. We took a poll and contacted all of the parents of the 2002 Fellows. As you might guess, half said “go” and half said “don’t go.” During the summer, every place we went as soon as we left, there was an incident. 19. 2002 and 2003. These summers we did not stay in Jerusalem – we stayed on a kibbutz, Ayelet Hashachar. We joked about only taking Fellows who have never been to Israel – this way, they wouldn’t realize that we weren’t showing them all that Israel had to offer. 8. 1992. Always singing—wherever—if the bus didn’t show up—who cared—who noticed. If the bus ran out of gas— who cared—who noticed. Always singing. 9. 1992 and 1993. All-year reunion at Camp Ramah in New England. Our accommodations were in the infirmary. 10. 1994 and 1995. All-year reunion at the Homowack Hotel. We shared this space with the Bar Mitzvahs (remember Shai?). 11. 1994 Kerem program — precursor to Yozma. My children went with me to the retreat which was at a Quaker location. Lauren (Chafetz) Roth showed my children her sheitel. Robyn and Tina were very impressed. 12. 1996. All-year reunion at Isabella Freedman Retreat Center. It snowed all weekend and created a beautiful setting for our Shabbat. 13. 1996. This was the first time I went to Israel for the entire program. I got my name on the T-Shirt, Ava “Only the Fun Stuff.” 14. 1997. Our 10 year reunion at Block and Hexter — Amazing. Everything was wonderful especially Moshe Shur’s band, and Julie Geller sang so beautifully. However…the food was the worst. 15. 1997. 10 year event dinner at the Jewish Museum. Edgar Bronfman was there. Ned spoke beautifully. I believe he coined the term “halachically challenged.” 16. 1998. This was the first year of Amitei Bronfman. The December Mifgash at the 4H center in Maryland: it was the most beautiful retreat center, but the vibes were very weird…we never went back again.

20. 2006. Because of the war in Lebanon, we were in such close contact with the parents. I remember sitting in Tsfat on a park bench across the street from a closed coffeehouse using the internet they had left on to communicate by email with everyone’s parents. 21. 2007. The 20th anniversary with over 250 people in attendance. With Shabbat lunches all over town, Shabbat morning going to the Central Synagogue (where Angela Buchdahl, ’89 is the cantor), Tamar Gordon’s home for lunch listening to Joe Reimer, and the Saturday night affair at the Puck Building — it was so special. Allison Lauterbach ’00 and Elijah Dornstreich ’92 did an excellent job. 22. 2008. Becky Voorwinde became Director of Alumni Engagement. I remember a car ride to Albany with Becky and Shimon, and Becky was a sponge as Shimon and I walked her through the list of every single alumnus. 23. Whenever a staff member or alum asks for something that I know I know, but can’t exactly remember I play my favorite game – is it filed in our archives? Is it on our book shelf? Is it on the computer? Is it in my Microsoft outlook inbox? Lo and behold, usually I locate the missing item. And then I place it in an online folder, so it is not only me who has the information. 24. 2011. Mish Zion joined our team as Co-director, along with Becky Voorwinde, making BYFI an even more amazing program for our next 25 years. 25. 2012. My daughter Robyn’s wedding, August 12th, 2012. Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld officiated. Nahanni Rous, ’92 made the chuppah. Of course my family was there. Ned and Becky were there. Eli Terry, ’02 was there. For 25 years, BYFI and my personal life have been very closely intertwined; and for that, I am forever grateful.



First fundraising campaign for BYFI Alumni Venture Fund

Sheila Jelen (’87) joins BYFI faculty



Year Ten: Reflections

by Becky Voorwinde (‘97) Co-Director of the Bronfman Fellowships Time can be suspended. I first learned this on my Bronfman summer. The faculty had abandoned us in a pitch black, winding underground cave. Our flashlights gone, we panicked. In the darkness, our eyes blinked. The beginning and end of each person’s body was not fully discernible – like someone had taken a pencil eraser and smudged the lines. There were so many distinctions between us Jews – an Iowan, an Alaskan, people who lived in that Jewish bubble of the Upper West Side, a Yiddishist, a budding filmmaker, and several lovers of show tunes. Yet, in the cave, we were one, an amorphous blob. We started to sing, mostly songs from Paul Simon’s Graceland. I cannot hear “Diamonds on the Souls of her Shoes” without thinking of my fellow Fellows. We knew how to harmonize and bring out the sweetness and realness of one another’s voices. Eventually we left the cave; Dan Mintz had to go to the bathroom and the offer of peeing in another Fellow’s water bottle was kindly rejected. When we came out into the light we squinted and needed to readjust. Only then did Tali Farhadian, our


Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

BYFI celebrates 20th Anniversary reunion, 180+ alumni attend

madricha, tell us we’d been underground much longer than we’d estimated – for over an hour. Time passed in the cave and we did not notice. Until I sat down to recount this moment, I didn’t realize just how much the cave, and more importantly, emergence from the cave, was a metaphor for the experience of the Bronfman Fellowships. Caves certainly get mentioned in the curriculum – Plato’s allegory of the cave (hey, we were 17 and wanted to find absolute truth), Shimon Bar Yochai and his son buried naked in the sand studying Torah in a cave (disembodied heads unable to link learning with living). But this cave was something altogether other; it was more womb than cave, an opportunity to grow. Fast forward to the summer of 2011; in the role of Co-Director of the Bronfman Fellowships, I have the privilege of leading a new group of Bronfmanim. The Fellows each begin their journeys with their own baggage (literal, of course, and metaphorical); the parts of their identities and belief systems that they are fearful of scrutinizing or questioning. They are at a unique inflection point in their lives, on the verge of leaving home and entering university and the world. And, I too, was at a moment of metamorphosis – growing into a future mother. There I was, newly pregnant and yet already a surrogate mother to 26 teens. I spent a lot of time trying to convince the Fellows that sleep, even just a little bit of it, was a good thing – especially when it took place at night in their own beds. But, there was too much for them to discuss and debate, and the night Fellowship, as Mish and I fondly refer to it, was just as important, if not more, than the official programming. There were mornings when the group

recounted difficult and painful conversations they’d had the night before – about ‘who is a Jew’ and the fact that for some Fellows the best ‘Jew’ they know is their non-Jewish parent; about Israel and democracy; about where to best apply their talents in the future. In each of these conversations, some Fellows felt at home and unchallenged at the start and others were immediately on the defensive. What so clearly brought me back to my own encounters on Bronfman was the way that as a conversation developed in the group, it became personal for everyone. Until my Bronfman summer I had never contemplated how strict halachic interpretation excluded Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Jews from belonging. As the conversation unfolded on my summer, this issue became personal for me because I now had friends for whom it was their life we were talking about – in turn, that shaped me. This community has continued to shape and challenge me personally, and now, professionally. From when I joined the BYFI Alumni Advisory Board in 2007, then as Director of Alumni Engagement and now as Co-Director, my personal and professional lives are intertwined. Some people warn against this, to the point of changing their Facebook names so their co-workers can’t even find them. But to me, the best days at work begin when I show off new pictures of my daughter to the team, sharing my adult life and family with the community in which I continue to grow. My daughter Miriam is growing up in this community now, too. As I was walking to the subway to reunite with the 2011 Fellows and Amitim this past December, my water broke. I went into labor five weeks early and the third person I called,


First BYFI full-time Director of Alumni Engagement hired (Becky Voorwinde)

Elijah Dornstreich (‘92) serves as AAB President

after my husband and doctor, was BYFI’s beloved Ava Charne. Many hours later, Miriam Zahavah Voorwinde was born. Of all the expressions of joy and congratulations we received in the hours following Miriam’s birth, the most resonant came from a group of 46 Bronfmanim. The Fellows, young Israeli and North American Jews, sang and danced at Isabella Freedman Retreat Center upon learning of Miriam’s birth. I cannot think of a better first blessing for our daughter than to be welcomed into the world in a community that strives to make others feel at home. The way that Bronfmanim make others feel at home is not through censoring themselves, pasting over the difficult questions or trying to find the common mean. It’s by caring enough to question one another and question ourselves, encouraging growth and change. There are moments of safety on the Fellowship, harmonizing in the cave. But to me, the lasting value is what many describe as the opposite of safety – the feeling of being challenged and owning the challenges of others. Feeling at home is important, but it’s not enough.

Rebecca Voorwinde (Fellow ’97) is the co-Director, Director of Strategy & Community Engagement for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships. She serves on the Advisory Board of Interfaith and she is a Task Group member on Interfaith Inclusiveness for UJA Federation of NY. Becky resides in Brooklyn with her husband Michael and daughter.

First Bronfman baby, Yona Pianko

First Bronfmanim alumni magazine sent to community

In Memoriam

In Memory of

Jeffrey Eisenberg z”l (BYFI 2003)

In Memory of

shira palmer-sherman z”L (BYFI 1997)


In Search of True Learning: A Conversation with Alumni in Education Compiled by Edie Joseph (Fellow ’07, BYFI Staff Fellow 2012-2013)

Mishael Rabbi Shimon knelt down and kissed the ground, saying: Teaching, Teaching! I have been running after you from the day I was born, and now you have become known to me, from the very root and essence of it all! Zohar vol. III:168a One of the greatest gifts that Bronfman strives to foster for its Fellows is a moment of true learning, or as our tradition calls it, “Torah Lishma” – a place where learning can take place separate from grades, degrees, achievement or award. This gift is hopefully an addictive one, which sends many of our alumni to become lifelong learners, searching incessantly for the “teaching that they have been running after from the day they were born,” as Rabbi Shimon puts it in the Zohar. Some alumni turn that passion into a profession, sharing their love for learning with others. We have asked 4 of the alumni involved in education on a daily basis to share what, in their opinion, are the important ingredients for true learning? In their work, which paradigms fuel true learning? Elisabeth For me, as usual, the devil is in the definition. At this moment in my work as a New York City Teaching Fellow, I feel crushed between two conflicting paradigms of “true learning.”

The philosophy of the New York City Teaching Fellows is that the only ingredient necessary for a solid education is an excellent teacher. It is the responsibility of that teacher to create everything else: student interest, engaging materials, and an environment where students are both safe to learn and expected to excel. The end goal of such an education is competence in the skills and information necessary for college and career success. But is such competence the hallmark of “true learning?” I tend to believe that it is not. Perhaps it is the hallmark of “true teaching”—but it seems to me that “true learning” and “true teaching” are not precisely in step. I think that true learning requires an internal drive on the part of the learner, a drive towards learning for its own sake and not just as a vehicle towards success in college and in a career. This drive can be—and often is—fostered by upbringing, by an external representation of inquiry as an independent utility that leads to a fulfilling life. This external representation can be made by parents, teachers, and peers. But in order to engage in true learning, the student must internalize this value for him or herself and live it in the particular moment. True learning is motivated by curiosity and produces the spontaneous joy of a struggle to comprehend.

Sarah Beller (‘98) is Director of Education & Programs at J Street, the political home for pro-Israel, propeace Americans. While earning her Masters in International Peace & Conflict Resolution at American University, she studied facilitation and adult education.


Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

Michelle I think Elisabeth’s point about the difference between “true teaching” and “true learning” touches on a main idea of what I think is a crucial component of “true learning” – that of teaching and learning focused on what the learner needs to do. I’ve seen as a professor of education at HUC and JTS that authentic learning is more likely with a climate that supports questioning, and when there is the possibility of applying (or at least sharing with another) what’s been learned. So often, as Elisabeth points out, we educators talk about learning from the point of view of the teacher, focusing on what the teacher’s actions, dispositions, and habits should be in a good learning environment. It’s not about what we need to cover, or how elegantly we convey information... it’s about whether the actions we take result in the learner achieving her goals. Rick I’d say that many of the important ingredients come in pairs of “opposites,” aiming towards a “sh’vil zahav” (a golden mean). Perhaps learning that is to be considered “true” is actually learning that aims at acquiring or discovering truth. By truth, I don’t mean facts or the “right” way to understand a concept or to solve a problem. In fact, the only viable pursuit of truth is probably one that accepts the multi-dimensionality of truth as one of its essential components. In

Rabbi Rick Brody (’90) teaches and studies Torah, engages in social justice activism, celebrates Jewish culture, and facilitaties soulful, holistic growth for individuals and communities as a half-time Curriculum Analyst & Reviewer for the Institute for Curriculum Services, as the rabbi for Congregation Kol Halev, and in a variety of teaching roles throughout the Jewish community in Austin, TX, where he lives with his family.

Wayne Jones (’93) serves as AAB President


Ilana Kurshan (’95) joins BYFI Faculty

Ma’aseh alumni advisorship created

First post-denominational rabbi (and mother of alumnus) Rabbi Sonia Saltzman joins faculty

AAB grows to 20 members

my work in Austin, Texas analyzing Jewish curriculum, I’ve realized that learning falls short of being true when the participants are preoccupied with proving “their side” or with finding the “correct answer.” Learning is not about keeping score. It requires great humility — but also a sense of confidence that my participation in the learning process is valuable. Put another way, true learning must be, to some extent, agendafree — not solely about proving a particular point but rather focused on learning “lishma” (for its own sake). But learning must also be agenda-laden — infused with a sense of purpose and application to real life.

Here, however, those who agree with Akiva see study as valuable because it leads to action. In other words, study is the wellspring from which action flows. (It’s worth noting that without careful study, action could be misguided, brash, or unsustainable.)

Sarah Elisabeth, are there students you feel you’ve been able to spark or otherwise bring out their innate curiosity? Is it possible for a teacher to do that, and do you have any stories of that happening?

In my education work for J Street in DC, I’ve seen that true learning involves some bubbling over of water from that wellspring —sometimes a trickle, sometimes a geyser. I would posit that true learning is not just about understanding the world as it is, but also about taking up responsibility to bring it closer to the world as it should be.

Sarah Rick, I agree with you that learning must in some way connect to action in the “real world.” There’s a famous Talmud passage that has always bugged my husband.

Rick I remember a rabbinical school seminar with the great Rabbi David Hartman professing to be much less interested in truth and more concerned with obtaining wisdom. What is going to enrich my life, fill it with a sense of meaning and purpose? What learning from the Torah can connect me more deeply to the tradition of interpretation, to being part of the process of “turning it over and over?” Ultimately, as stated in Pirkei Avot, wisdom is manifest when one proceeds with the conviction that “one can learn from all people.” So, a sense of purpose that is motivating the learning—a reason why I am involved in this endeavor in the first place—along with a modesty about my role in the process and about any tangible achievements that will result are essential starting ingredients.

Elisabeth I think that a lot of curious people learn early on that school is not a place for learning. I’m not sure I can say that I have sparked curiosity in students who had none, but I can certainly report success in making school a place where those people can learn. My most effective technique so far in achieving that is an old one: asking questions. I’ve been preparing my history lectures entirely in the form of questions. Some of the questions I know I’ll have to answer myself, but in many cases the students can predict how a chain of historical events will unfold. I’ve been impressed all over again by the power of questions — how they make formerly apathetic students sit up, wrinkle their brows, and say “but wait...”

Which is greater, study or action? Rabbi Tarfon answered, saying: Action is greater. Rabbi Akiva answered, saying: Study is greater. All the rest agreed with Akiva that study is greater than action because it leads to action.—Babylonian Talmud (Kiddushim 40b) A is better than B because A leads to B? That sounds like fuzzy math to me. Yet this seeming paradox raises some important questions of means and ends. Study, in Jewish tradition, is often considered to have inherent value, as Rick pointed out, in “Torah lishma” (learning for the sake of learning).

Elisabeth Cohen (’01) is a New York City Teaching Fellow, and the founder of the College Students for Enrichment in Secondary Schoolrs (CSESS) program, which has received 2 Alumni Venture Fund grants. She is completing a PhD in Arabic Literature at Princeton.

Michelle Lynn-Sachs (’88) is a Jewish educator. Her most recent positions have been on the faculties of Hebrew Union College and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she taught future educators, rabbis, cantors, and academics. She recently moved to Austin, Texas, with her husband and two children.

Rabbi Mishael Zion is the co-Director and Director of Education of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships. He is the author of “A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices” and the Israeli best-seller “HaLaila HaZeh: Haggadah Yisraelit.”



$100,000 distributed through AVF

BYFI named to Slingshot, a list of top 50 innovative Jewish organizations First AVF grant given to an Amit


Year Fifteen: Reflections by Yonah Krakowsky (‘02)

To be perfectly honest, in the ten years since my fellowship summer, I no longer feel deeply connected to the Bronfman alumni community. I’m still extremely close with some of the friends I made but, contrary to the hoards of alumni on the listserve who seek seder spots when travelling in Timbuktu, the BYFI community isn’t the first place I’d turn should I find myself in Alaska for Shabbat. As a urology resident, I’m on call more hours than I’m not. I feel very much a part of my Orthodox Jewish community in Toronto. The truth is I have no interest in interacting with pluralistic minyanim – especially if the kiddush is cold and healthy. I’ll



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Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

never be interested in subletting a two bedroom apartment with a vegan, nonsmoking roommate who has a cat named Chatol. I’m an apathetically Orthodox Jew with an attention span of a desperate housewife; I haven’t gone to fellowship retreats or engaged in intellectual conversations about my Jewish identity in a decade. But I have to say: when I check my email in between checking out ailing urethras, it’s the highlight of my day. I read the emails with enthusiasm; I’m excited to get them. Let me put it this way: I emailed Ava first when I switched to Gmail because I really wanted to keep getting those emails. It’s hard to say exactly why I love the listserve emails so much. Some of the emails bother me to no end, some make me laugh, and some provide really interesting food for thought. The listserv is what pulls me out of the hospital, out of Toronto, and into different worldviews Is that all that remains from my Fellowship experience in my everyday life — a cast of misfits holding my perfectly clean inbox hostage? I mean, I only have positive feelings towards my summer but I feel like a lot of what I learned did not necessarily stick with me; it was like washable paint for the year. I don’t think it changed the trajectory of who I became religiously, psychospiritually, personally, athletically, or environmentally. I’m not a conservative, close minded jerk — I’ve volunteered in Haiti, treating sore throats and yeast infections — but for me it has nothing to do with ‘tikkun olam.’ Whenever I see those words I shudder. Whenever I see the word ‘pluralism’ I shudder. They remind me of granola and frilly dresses. But I’m fascinated by the opportunity to still tap into and hear from people who think that the world’s

primary concern is the plight of intermarried children with no access to etrogs. I actually maintain a sub-listserv of my friends to whom I forward the emails I find most outrageous with my original commentary. Yes, part of it is about making fun of people but it’s deeper than that. It’s intelligent people with interesting personalities sharing their opinions and creating a conversation. I like having my finger on the pulse of this part of the Jewish community that I otherwise would not encounter in the life I live. Apart from visiting the Haaretz website once a day, it’s the only thing that connects me to the broader Jewish community and issues like gender and sexuality and different opinions on Israel. So in the end, 10 years after a wonderful, engaging summer that certainly challenged the impressionable, amorphous teenager I was then, I am left with more than nothing. In my own way, I suppose, I am deeply involved in the Bronfman community — albeit through my inbox. I love being connected to the listserv, and who knows, one day in the future, when the 2020 fellows are taking off to their adventure, I might even post.

Yonah Krakowsky (Fellow ’02) was a Bronfman Fellow before Facebook, iPods, and “Two and Half Men.” He currently lives in Toronto, Canada where he is a resident in the potent field of urology. He thinks his Bronfman year was the best of them all because they got to meet A.B Yehoshua.

The first text we learn together on every Bronfman summer experience is Pirkei Avot 1:6 “Aseh l’cha rav u’k’neh l’cha chaver”

Make a Teacher, Acquire a Friend: 8 Opinions, 1 Mishnah As we come together to celebrate 25 years of Bronfmanim, we asked several of our alumni to reflect on how this text relates to their lives today.

Allie Alperovich ’93

It was a bit shocking to me that our initial Bronfman shiur in which this Mishnah was taught was almost 20 years ago, but I still recall one specific interpretation offered by one of the fellows: namely, the “friend” and “teacher” were one and the same. Whether that interpretation is consistent with the “original intent” or structure of the Mishnah is not especially important to me these days. But the interpretation has had a particular resonance for me in recent Allie is an attorney years, as I have been a member and then a leader of a fully lay-led at Ropes & Gray. shul on the Upper West She lives with her husband, Yuri Side of Manhattan called Simon, and their Darkhei Noam. Our mintwo daughters, yan strives to expand roles Emma and Hannah, on the Upper for women within public West Side of prayer, while retaining key Manhattan. She traditional norms (i.e., the recently completed a two year term constitution of a minyan, as co-chair of mechitza). Perhaps just Darkhei Noam, as important to the coman independent minyan on the munity as our ideological Upper West Side, commitments to expandand serves as ing gender roles within an executive committee member a traditional service, is of both Darkhei Darkhei Noam’s mission Noam and JOFA to be a lay-led community in which, as suggested in that long-ago (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance). shiur, the role of Rav and Chaver are intertwined.When I was a Bronfman fellow, minyanim like Darkei Noam did not exist, other than perhaps for a very occasional meeting. I recall many discussions that summer regarding gender & Orthodoxy. (Is there a cohort of fellows that doesn’t fixate on gender?) I was fairly certain, even at age 17, that the struggle of Orthodox feminism would be significant to me, and the conflict between Orthodoxy and feminism was a source of significant angst at the time. However, if told then that I would be a leader of a lay-led and Rabbi-less community, I would have probably been disappointed in my future, imagined self. Before my Bronfman summer, my day school Judaic studies Principal warned that the program would change my religious outlook and commitment. I David Zvi Kalman ’04 didn’t worry too much about his warning, but I now ask myself whether the Bronfman summer in fact changed my religious perspective? For many years I thought not. Now I think that the Bronfman experience gave me the context, perhaps only many years later, to lead a community in which the lines of friendship and teaching are intertwined. David is currently at the University “Make for yourself a teacher.” Like an idol I fashion thee, Rabbi. of Pennsylvania, I ask your bronze beard questions and the machinery inside you where he is pursuing a PhD in medieval Jewish and Islamic law in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He is also currently a graduate fellow at the Center for Jewish Law at Cardozo Law School. This year, David Zvi and his wife Yael will be Hadar Scholars at Penn.

replies. I am in your service forever; I have set it so. You, my golem, I have made from all of the things that I am not and of my ineffable gods, most of all. I have fashioned you out of all but myself, hoping to absorb the world through your lips. I stay awake absorbing your drone, and the entire time, do you know, I fear that you will crumble and inside of you will be revealed an empty space, a hall of echoes, suddenly released. “Buy for yourself a friend.” It requires the right currency, you see. Some parents are also friends; good lovers always are. My beating blood mixes with your sprockets and we look at each other for the first time. I feel a little bit dizzy; have I fallen in love? Your bronze dulls; my eyes shine. The dam is breached; my tide of self goes out to you and comes back with your treasure. From my Pirkei Avot 1:6 shore to yours lies the whole earth, and it is ours. Wait there, my friend — I’m here! As a secular Jew from Omaha, Nebraska, my BYFI experience has been life changing. From daily shiurim to midnight discussions, the summer was a whirlwind of philosophy and logic that I never thought I would be lucky enough to enjoy. On the first day of BYFI, we learned a short text from Pirkei Avot 1:6: “Make for yourself a teacher, and acquire for yourself a friend, and judge everyone favorably.” In this context, we discussed two types of friends: those that comfort you and those that sharpen you. People, myself included, tend to be most familiar with the first type. My best friends from home are those that I can talk to about anything. They reserve judgment and keep my secrets. They are always there for me whenever I need support. While this is certainly desirable, it does not cover the full spectrum of friendship. In contrast, an average hour over the summer could include a debate on whether kashrut has moral value for secular practitioners, overhearing guitar and saxophone rehearsals, explaining the contributions of psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, discussing my stances on Greek life in college (against), and learning what davening is (praying). With such an eclectic and enthusiastic group of fellows, my notions of friendship have been radically enhanced. With friends that comfort you, it is possible to share deep, philosophical thoughts and come away feeling especially intelligent. Very rarely do conversations with these people leave

Grant Glazer ’12

Grant is a high school senior from Omaha, Nebraska. He teaches sixth graders at his local synagogue, enjoys riding his bike while listening to music, volunteers at a local nature reserve, and plays baseball and tennis.


us confused, humbled, or upset. But as we try to shape and better ourselves, what use is that? Rabbi Mish has a great metaphor for this concept: if you are going to sharpen a knife, you don’t use a pillow, you use another knife (or a stone). It’s painful and uncomfortable, but it’s the only way to get a better knife. As I look back on the late night talks and spirited debates of our summer, they leave me questioning, uncomfortable, and eager for more. Luckily, I know BYFI presents me Maya with lifelong opportunities Pirkei Avot 1:6 Rosen ’11 to make teachers and acquire friends who will continue to sharpen me.

kavua. It would largely eliminate the feeling of always having a foot in both worlds and never truly belonging in either. But there is also something about pizur nefesh (a spread-out soul) that fascinates me. When we studied existentialism this year in school, I loved imagining what Kafka would have thought of Kohelet or how Reb Nachman would have read Camus. During my physics class, I often pondered how halachah would be different if we applied the physics definition of work to the idea of melacha. So what are those of us with fragmented souls to do? The text itself answers my question. Immediately following the rav kavua dictum is the command to acquire a friend. I may not have found that one teacher, but I have found friends that have helped in the process of karev pzureinu, bringing in all my scattered musings. When I learn with Avital, she is just as quick to quote Rashi as Kant, and she regularly mentions Yehudah HaLevi and William Shakespeare in the same sentence. Maybe I will find unity by acquiring friends who are equally as scattered. When there is no longer a need to compartmentalize, when Talmudic and political examples are both fair game to back up a point, then living in two worlds feels slightly less lonely. Friendship has the potential to create a community composed of all those who lack a rav kavua but are looking to acquire friends—a community Rabbi Mishael Zion of all those with seeping, spreading souls. Co-Director BYFI

Yehoshua ben Perachya would say: Make for yourself a Teacher, Acquire for yourself a friend, Judge everyone favorably.

Maya Rosen is currently living and studying at Midreshet Ein HaNatziv in Israel. She will be attending Princeton University next year.


During our BYFI summer, my friend Avital and I noticed several interesting texts from Avot D’Rabbi Natan in our sourcebooks. We decided to delve into this Geonic commentary on Pirkei Avot together, and since August, we have had weekly Skype chevruta sessions. Studying Avot D’Rabbi Natan has been a highlight of my year, and it has presented me with big questions about how to balance Jewish and secular learning. Recently, we covered an intriguing yet unsettling passage. In commenting on the phrase “Aseh lecha rav. Make for yourself a teacher,” Avot D’Rabbi Natan writes: “Melamed she’ya’aseh lo rav kavua. This teaches us that a person should have a fixed teacher.” From this teacher, a student should learn Torah, Mishna, midrash, halachah, and aggadah. I know very few people who have a rav kavua, a fixed teacher. In my personal experience, I have not only had different teachers for each aspect of my Jewish learning, but I also have a whole other set of teachers for English literature, calculus, physics, and history. In speaking about students like me, Avot d’Rabbi Natan asserts that “nimtza adam ha’hu…b’lo tov u’vracha. A man like this will be found…to have neither goodness nor blessing.” Rav Eliyahu ben Avraham, a 19th century commentator, writes of this line: “Ha’lomed Torah me’harbe anashim yesh lo pizur hanefesh lachsov al leshono v’daato shel kol achad v’achad. One who learns Torah from many people has a spreading out of the soul because s/he has to think of the words and opinions of everyone.” This description of such a bifurcated existence resonates strongly for me. I go to school and spend all day solving for x and analyzing Shakespeare, and then I come home and spend hours on Skype learning a Geonic commentary on Pirkei Avot. On the one hand, I love the idea of having a rav

Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

Hidden among the many commentaries on this mishnah is one of the most beautiful snapshots of a friendship between a teacher and a student in Jewish tradition. In the middle of Maimonides’ commentary, as he tries to explain what friendship is, he does the rare act of quoting a Greek philosopher in a Jewish text: “How fitting are Aristotle’s words in this regard: ‘A friend is a second self’.” Maimonides was a lonely figure – yet through his relationship with the long deceased Aristotle he found a second self, a true friend, and a teacher. Some scholars would claim that his magnum opus, the “Guide for the Perplexed,” is simply an attempt to make room for his friend Aristotle within Jewish tradition. Such is the devotion of a true friend. At the end of that same commentary, Maimonides reveals what he sees as the highest form of friendship, that which the Mishna is urging us towards: “There are many kinds of friends… but the friend which this mishnah commands

Rabbi Mishael is the co-Director and Director of Education of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships. He is the author of “A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices” and the Israeli bestseller “HaLaila HaZeh: Haggadah Yisraelit.”

us to acquire is a friend who ethically inspires and instructs. This ous, kind and welcoming teachers – and friends – one could ever a friendship in which both friends share the same desire and purhope for. My history with Bronfman is, like many stories, a compose, namely: the good. Each one aims to be aided by his friend on bination of skill, timing and fate. In 1979, I had the great good their path to both achieve this good together; and the love between fortune of being hired (then educated) by Edgar Bronfman. Among these friends is like the love of a the many lessons he taught me: (1) teacher for a student, and of a stuTrust your people and judge them dent for a teacher.” (Maimonides’ by their results. (2) Manage with commentary to Mishna Avot 1:6) focus (“All great concepts can be How many friends do we have who covered in one page”), and (3) Think prod us along to seek the good? big and act decisively. In 1986, Such prodding is not always easy. Edgar gave Bill Friedman and me It is often about challenging us, the challenge to create a new sumshoving uncomfortable truths and mer program in Israel dedicated to sharp questions in our face – and bridging the growing gaps and rifts yet doing that in a context of love, within the branches of Judaism. We out of a shared desire to achieve enlisted Michael Paley, who created “the good.” When I watch young the foundations and principles that Bronfmanim exploring and chalBYFI has to this day: a broad plulenging their companions, I see the ralistic spectrum, small size, intense desire – an almost burning drive exposure and experience to Jewish From Avot d’Rabbi Natan 8:3, an early commentary on Pirkei Avot – to keep talking until “the good” thinking, and high standards for is revealed (and talking, and talkselection. Michael proposed an “ining, and talking…). It is not about tellectual magical mystery tour” and posturing, it is not about achievEdgar bought into the experiment. ing – it is about greater understanding. Now, while Maimonides We went public during the holidays in fall 1986 and experienced might have believed that there is but one good, within the pluralinstant success: the Jewish world got it; wanted it. In 1989, Edgar istic worldview of Bronfman I’ve encountered an expanded vision, made me BYFI’s first Executive Director with the goal of creating a where each fellow is invested in helping their friend attain “the management structure tailored to our pluralistic mission. Michael good” – but one person’s good might be different from the other’s said to me in the parking lot the next day: “If you’re going to be good – and yet they support each other in the process. This is the E.D., you can’t be a drop-in manager. You have to know BYFI’s ethical aspect of a true Hevruta: I will invest in helping you seek day-to-day educational work — every shiur, every Shabbos, every the good on your own terms, even when I actually disagree with it. faculty meeting.” He was right and I embraced his suggestion. I In a society that increasingly is not even interested in hearing what learned about Rav Kook and parallel truth. I listened in a trance others have to say, investing one’s time to sharpen and cultivate the as Yehuda Amichai read “Tourists.” And, I learned about the “make voice of one’s interlocutor is a valiant act. for yourself a teacher, acquire for yourself a friend” text in Pirkei Avot. In the process, I found what I’m convinced is a Jewish soul. One summer when I was BYFI’s Executive Director, I hosted a BYFI is a community in which teachers and friends are one and Shabbos dinner at my Jerusalem apartment. An Orthodox Felthe same. Over the years, Avi Weinstein taught me that “Adminislow marveled: “I get selected for this elite Jewish experience. I walk tration is a key element of superb teaching.” Shimon Felix taught back from a powerful time at the Kotel with 25 Bronfmanim and me that the intricacies of halachah are opportunities to appreciate our Rabbi. Then I’m served dinner in a Gentile’s kosher home. God. Sharon Cohen-Anisfeld taught me compassionate power and A Gentile who gets Judaism. Thank you, this is both strange and leadership. Ava Charne taught me dedication and constancy. Dana deep.” That remark still makes me chuckle and then makes me Raucher taught me to ask tough questions and create maximum proud. To liberally paraphrase, Bronfman makes strange bedfelresults. Adam Bronfman taught me how to carry a mission forward lows. The truth is I learned Judaism from the most learned, generfrom generation to generation. And on BYFI’s 10th anniversary,

“Acquire for yourself a friend:” How so? This teaches that one should get a companion for oneself, to eat with, drink with, study Scripture with, study Mishnah with, sleep with and reveal all one’s secrets, the secrets of the Torah and the secrets of worldly things.

Ned Foss, CFO BYFI

Ned was instrumental in the inception of BYFI and played a number of key roles in the staffing and administration of the Fellowship. Today he is on the board of the Fellowship and serves at the CFO.


my now cherished friend, Jim Ponet, teased: “Ned, what kind of Jew are you?” “Well, I’m knowledgeable,” I said, “but halachically challenged.” So what does it mean that BYFI, this fabulous Jewish program, has some of its roots in a Gentile’s work? To me it means this: If a guy with an open soul works for 30-plus years with a few dozen—then a few hundred—of the most gifted Jews and rabbis, he will be awed and inspired.

Ruth Kaplan ’95

Ruth is an assistant professor of English literature at Quinnipiac University. She lives in New Haven with her husband, Ira Fay, and newborn son, Sam Kaplan-Fay.


The first time I taught “Women and Jewish Literature,” in the fall of 2003, a distraught student approached me midway through the semester. We were just completing a unit on the place of Torah study in the lives of women in traditional east European Jewish society. My student, a young, married Orthodox woman, came to my office soon after our discussion. “I have all the tools I need to study Torah,” she said, “but I don’t use them.” Pressed to elaborate, she told me that the Orthodox community in which she lived Within the first hour of my Bronfman summer, we were sitting did not seem much more amenable to women’s Torah study than in groups of three or four doing “text study.” This was a weldid the communities in Eastern Europe that we had been discusscome relief after the mingling and small talk—tasks for which ing. Although she was yeshiva educated and relatively proficient nervous, bookish sixteen year in classical Hebrew, it had never ocolds are perhaps singularly illcurred to her that she, too, like her husWhen two sit studying Torah equipped. I remember looking band who studied Talmud daily with and one of them makes a misat the text, from Pirkei Avot, in a neighbor, could choose to study the take in a matter of Halakha or disbelief; did these rabbis actusacred texts of her tradition. I told my of a chapter heading — or says ally expect us to discuss one line student that the key to beginning any for two hours? Make for yourof the unclean that it is clean course of traditional Jewish study could self a teacher, acquire for yourbe found in the well-known mishnah in or of the clean that it is unself a friend, and always judge Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) 1:6, clean, or of the forbidden that everyone favorably; the sentence where Rabbi Joshua Ben Perahyah it is permitted or of the permit- says, “Make for yourself a teacher and was probably familiar to most of ted that it is forbidden — his the other people in the room at acquire for yourself a friend.” There that point. For me, it was a revcompanion will correct him. are many interpretations of this stateelation. I’d never encountered a ment, but the one that I have always Jewish text that predated 1880. From Avot d’Rabbi Natan 8:3, an early favored is that finding a study partner commentary on Pirkei Avot My education in Jewishness (hevruta) is akin to finding a friend had been secular and Yiddish(haver). My student thereupon asked ist; I’d attended a Workman’s me to become her study partner, and I Circle after-school program accepted. We studied together for over that focused primarily on the history of Jewish emigration to three years, in my university office and on the telephone, celebratAmerica, with an emphasis on the tradition of labor organizing ing the completion of several tractates of the Mishnah. The culand leftist activism in New York. In reading “always judge evmination of our learning took place on a Chanukah night in 2005 eryone favorably,” one basis for those principles became clear to when we gathered to teach Torah, together, to members of our me. Here was a commandment to believe the best of people, one respective communities. The Mishna continues on to say that if from which an obligation to help others seemed to follow natuyou “make for yourself a teacher and acquire for yourself a friend, rally. If you are commanded to judge people favorably, you canyou will learn to judge every person fairly.” Does this conclusion not blame them for their own poverty, or account it to a moral to the Mishnah work with or against the notion that selecting a or religious failing on their part. The onus shifts to you: what teacher for yourself is best expressed in a “hevrutah” situation of will you do to change that situation, and the world? Tellingly, shared discourse? I believe that the two parts of the Mishnah acthough, that commandment comes after the other two: to make a cord with one another. When you enter into a real teacher/stuteacher and acquire a friend. Perhaps judging anyone favorably dent relationship, you must necessarily forget, at moments, who (much less everyone!) would be too hard a task without these preis the student and who is the teacher. You must view yourself as requisites. Finding teachers and friends—a community of intelthe other’s student, and the other’s teacher simultaneously. In dolectual and emotional nourishment — is a necessary first step. The ing so, you become equals. In becoming equals, you become a Bronfman program has provided precisely this sort of community more compassionate, more just individual. I have learned this not in my life. The discussion of the line from Pirkei Avot turned out only in my twenty years of teaching, both as a graduate student to be both far shorter and far longer than I’d imagined. The time and as a professor, but also in my fourteen years of parenting. My flew as we unpacked the various implications of the verse, in a children, like my students, never let me forget how little I really fashion I now use every day in my work as a professor studying know and I consider it a great act of Hesed, or loving kindness, poetry. And in some ways the discussion never ended at all. I’m that they let me continue to learn with them – Torah and Tolstoy, still trying to comprehend the full meaning of that sentence, and Talmud and Tolkien, Parsha and Pooh – as friends. Excerpted still in conversation with many of the same people who made the from Sheila Jelen, “Women and Jewish Literature” in Nashim 16 venture so worthwhile in the first place. (2008).

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Sheila Jelen Fellow ’87, Faculty ’07

Sheila is an associate professor of English and Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the director of the Comparative Literature program there. She has published several books in the field of Modern Jewish Literature. Jelen is currently working on a book called “Salvage Poetics: A Manifesto,” which explores the role of Yiddish literature and shtetl photography in popular American perceptions of preHolocaust Eastern European Jewish culture. She and her husband, Seth Himelhoch, live in Silver Spring Maryland where they are raising their four children as highly committed postdenominational Jews.


Becky Voorwinde and Rabbi Mishael Zion named as co-Directors of BYFI

BYFI – Repair the World Campus Ambassadorship launched Susan Pultman (’99) serves as AAB President


Year Twenty: Reflections by Yasha Magarik (‘07) On the very first day of Bronfman, Ava Charne addressed us with her right-pocket, left-pocket parable. I’ve forgotten the exact phrasing, but the message was roughly this: Some of you feel intimidated by this program, and some of you feel entitled to it, but all of you belong here equally. Ava’s spiel engendered a sense of acceptance from the very start. For me, those words remain one of the most significant pieces of wisdom from that summer; they have assumed the status of a saying from Pirkei Avot (“A student of Torah ought not to run from Bronfman, but neither is she free to run it…”). Bronfman creates community so swiftly in part because of that right pocket-left pocket lesson (and the faculty’s affirmation of it for the next five weeks), but also because it couples the immediacy of that bond with another: the willingness to intellectually challenge other Bronfman fellows. Some of my fondest memories of Bronfman involve staying up late with the Orthodox fellows, furiously debating the proper space for homosexuality in Jewish life. Ava’s parable helped us accept everyone’s right to participate in these discussions on equal terms while bringing our own experiences and perspectives to bear. That intellectual intensity is not limited to the summer experience; it extends to interactions between Bronfman fellows in the wider world a comforting way. A few

weeks ago, for instance, a generous older fellow, whom I’d never met, drove me to the Berkshires. By the time we reached the highway, he had asked me the single most dangerous question for older people to ask recent college graduates: “What’s next?” When I explained that I would be involved in organic farming, he jumped right in: “Okay, why food? There are lots of things everyone consumes.” It wasn’t rude; it was invigorating. There we were, barreling down the highway, and this relative stranger was interrogating me about my most closely held values. I half-expected Shimon Felix to sit up in the back seat and tell me that by insisting on higher wages for farm laborers I was representing the corporate mindset. My driver and I knew we belonged to a community in which immediate intellectual confrontation was encouraged. I’ve found that to be a pretty common experience when interacting with Bronfman fellows, even those from other years. Fellows take seriously the injunction to “Make for yourself a teacher, acquire for yourself a friend,” which can be read in the same grammatical vein as “Join the navy, see the world” (or the Marx Brothers’ version: “Join the army, see the navy”). That is, turning a stranger into your teacher early on in your relationship will often net you a friend. Bronfman encourages fellows to respectfully challenge each other’s ideas from the outset; in this way, Bronfman begins with intellectual engagement, couched in respect and honesty, and only later do emotional connections emerge. My new job, involving farm work and alternative education at a Quaker institute in rural northeastern California, finds me 3,000 miles from my home; I’m living and working with seven other people in their early twenties, each incredibly and uniquely talented and each coming from a very different background. Although I’m ten time zones away from Israel and nowhere near a

minyan, let alone intense Jewish text study, I realize Bronfman was one of the most important preparations for this experience. Those five weeks with Jews of all stripes taught me a lot about not just tolerating, but actually engaging with, people who believe and behave differently. In particular, it reinforced the value of asking questions and of careful listening, reminding me that every stranger is a potential teacher and thus a potential friend. But Ava’s words have also come back to me here. In the first twenty-four hours I often mentally critiqued myself, unsure that my talents could measure up to the intellectual, agricultural, or educational skills that my coworkers possess. I was anxious that they knew Quaker values and protocol well and that I did not; I was worried that my attitude was too New York-centric. But then, descending into a river valley with them, I was taken back to the Yehudia hike in the Golan. I remembered Ava’s words about belonging and how the other fellows welcomed me and invited me to welcome them . While discussing how we came here, a coworker remarked, “You belong because you’re here,” unintentionally echoing Ava Charne. So I reminded myself to listen, but also to ask the tough questions, to feel comfortable but also to be humble, and above all, not to represent the corporate mindset.

Yasha Magarik (Fellow ’07) just graduated Yale College last May and is now working at the Woolman Institute, in the Sierra foothills, gardening, cooking, and mentoring high school students.



First year that all first-round readers of BYFI applications are BYFI alumni

BYFI named to Slingshot for second year

Alumni Venture Fund in Action: Kevah To date, 124 alumni have been inspired to lead projects that received funding 100 projects have been supported, including 12 led by Israeli alumni In 2011, 20% of alumni donated to the AVF Distributed $168,170 in grants Introduction by Susan Pultman (’99), Alumni Advisory Board President The Alumni Venture Fund (AVF) is, for me, a perfect encapsulation of all things “Bronfman.” It was started 7 years ago by a group of alumni looking to keep the fellowship experience relevant to themselves and others, including Jews and non-Jews outside of the BYFI community. It has been wildly successful. Concretely, we have provided $168,170 dollars to 100 projects.

Kevah was founded in 2008 by Bronfman Yozma alumna Sara Bamberger. Kevah supports a pluralistic network of self-organized Torah study groups across North America. Check out this graphic of the relationship between BYFI and Kevah – you’ll see the values of BYFI in action. milestones vah Ke



olvement inv ni

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BYFI Supp o

Kevah mile st

The intangible and uncountable effects of the Kevah selected to be part of AVF, though, are what inspire me the most. Alu Upstart Bay Area's incubator for es m n Jewish social entrepreneurship Alumni rally together to raise money o for each other’s ventures, and trust Kevah conceived; launch Brett Lockspeiser joins of 2 groups each other to make funding deciSF Yidden Sara Bamberger quits sions on their behalf. One of my her job to work on Daniel Berson joins Kevah full-time favorite ways that I continue to East Bay Chevrei Alumn i in be involved in the Fellowship is Kevah expands vo to 12 groups participating in the AVF grant allocation process. A small Sarah Cowan, Andy Katzman and rt Ruth Kaplan organize SF Torah group of alumni get together group members include Warren & AVF grant for $2500 and debate not only the merits Lindsay Braunig to launch Kevah of each application, but also the AVF grant for $750 for a Rachel Finkelstein organizes Reagan young adult Kevah group more broad values of pluralism, Era Babies AVF grant for $2000 Jewish learning, social action, and Karen Alexander organizes San Mateo in Bay Area relationship with Israel. These, of Hannah Kapnik interns at Kevah on course, also happen to be the four pililestones her winter break hm lars of BYFI. The conversations are frank, a v funny, emotional, stimulating, and productive. Ke They are reminiscent of the conversations that we nes sto e all had late into the evening on those hot summer Receives nonprofit (501c3 status) l nights at Goldstein Youth Village. Kevah receives grant from the Jim Joseph Foudation to create the Kevah Teaching Fellowship


Kevah expands to 43 groups Hannah Kapnik and Noa Silver join Kevah's staff



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Selected from 150 applicants to be part of the Joshua Venture Group Selected for 2012-13 Slingshot book

Plans to expand to 75 groups

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volvement i in


involvemen ni m

The Alumni Venture Fund is truly one of the best examples of the relevance of BYFI to our lives well after the fellowship summer. One of the key successes of the AVF is the way it brings together Bronfman alumni, innovative organizations, and key leaders and thinkers of the Jewish world.

Keva hm i

2012- 13

Hannah Kapnik, Noa Silver and Adina Gerver selected to be Kevah Teaching Fellows


BYFI celebrates 25th anniversary reunion in New York City

Amitei Bronfman, BYFI’s Israeli Fellowship Established in 1998, the Israeli Bronfman community now numbers 300 Bronfmanim, the oldest of whom are in their thirties. Meet 3 of our 300 Israeli alumni: Lior Zalmanson (Amit ’00): Lior studies virtual communities, knowledge management, e-commerce, web 2.0 in organizations, social media, and user generated content while completing his PhD in Information Sciences at Tel Aviv University. He also works as the Academic Coordinator at The Institute of Internet Studies at Tel Aviv University. Lior recently received a BYFI Alumni Venture Fund grant to launch “Shonim,” an alternative Jewish cultural event in Tel Aviv. Adiya Imri Orr (Amitah ’04): Adiya’s most recent short, Stitches, won a student award at Tribeca Film Festival in New York. She won three directing awards and two awards for the best short in five international film festivals. Adiya studied film at Tel Aviv University. Her other films include Crossroad 129 and A Reason to Stay. Idit Ben Or (Amitah ’01): Idit is the General Coordinator of the Jerusalem International Book Fair, a prestigious cultural event that brings together writers, publishers, editors and literary agents from around the world. She is also completing her MA at Hebrew University in history. Idit serves as the President of the Israeli Alumni Advisory Board.

The Israeli alumni community regularly holds events and programming. To connect with our Israeli alumni community on your next visit to Israel, contact Tova Serkin (‘97), Director of Israel Operations at



Year Twenty Five: Reflections by Anna Meixler (‘11)

Since 2005, about 60,000 asylum seekers from Africa have entered Israel’s borders. The Israeli government estimates that about 60% of the refugees are from Eritrea and over 25% are from Sudan. After touring South Tel Aviv and learning about this community on her Bronfman summer, Anna Meixler pursued extensive interviews and research creating an informative site: southtelaviv. and an original art exhibit for her BYFI Ma’aseh project. These are three of Anna’s paintings.

Anna Meixler (’11) is a freshman at Yale University, originally from White Plains, NY.


Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

Green, n, Ethan , a m s d n cott La Joel Hornstein olson, S r, ichael C , Adam Weine M , s s o : Ned F ren Weinberg Jonathan Stein w o R p To n, Au , enzik, obson, Davidso issi Rub alli Loeb Dan Jac hman, Adam evine, M ith Woocher, H L h ic e ra R a ley, S ered Mark hael Pa kov rstel, M ow: Mic t, Jennifer Ge d Warnick, Yaa R d n o c d d ta Se o T rs , e b m instein, ll iria Ha , Avi We tz, in Jeremy rman, Micki, M te s n e fe e Ben Low ll, Lauren Cha Hershl B e andler, : Dan H n, Reba Conn ishman w o R Bottom er, Sheila Jele nsky, Randi F a Joe Reim rt, Debby Dus e Sara Alp

Top Row: Ned Foss, Ben Wizner, Ari Kelman, Joe Menashe, Jonathan Tepperman, Michelle Lynn, Karen Bender, Aaron Marcus Second Row: Avi Ovadia, Avi Weinstein, Robyn Farber, Leah Lande, Juliet Headrick, Maya Fischhoff, Laura Liebman, Michael Paley, Ran Kremer, Robyn Farber Bottom Row: Todd Warnick, Josh Wallack, Zvi Shimon, Robin, Zadam Zanbilowicz, Ella Nadelson, David Seligman, Karen Alexander, Hal Klein, Debra Kanner, Tanya Schlam, Ayelet Kuper, Ronda Angel, Jeremy Hockenstein, Aaron Hendelm an

, Chubin r, Beth Warnick, e n h s u Todd arry K ates, L Orlow, udith K einstein, Avi J , y le a y hael P Foss, Avi W w: Mic lz, Jenn d Birnho Heitler Top Ro german, Ne n e v te n in, S bigail Carol U er nee Ste Klein, A m owitz, min, Re Tilahun, Idit u K Ran Kre l e a hel Leb l h c a -E ic R th M , e : e Duk Row holtz ick, B ev, Jon ie Buck Second Angela Warn ir Bar-L lotkin, Charl r, m e A n n r, P e re B Danny Rauch abeth Karger, y, : Dana Lebeau, Eliz ir w o m R A , d z sk Thir osefa Czarlin tt Savit erns, Y ell, Sco olfe, Jessica B n Dave B a onath , Mikael W Row: J sky Bottom arissa Dolin ldstein o M , G in n oro Kam Ruby, D Shawn 25

Top Row: Ra n Kr Michael Paley, emer, Jim Ponet, Ruth So hn N Rick Brody, Br ed Foss, Susan Wolf, Elen , Todd Warnick, a Katzap, Sam ett Krichiver, Lisa Inman, Ki Rascoff, Judith Rosenb m Van Naard aum, Michah en, Gottlieb, Mar k Schiffer Second Row : Avi Weinste in, Diana Bloom , Jonathan Ka Jon Bresman, Josh Neum an, plan, Yossi Fe Gootman, Le ndel ah Mundell, D ana Weinberge , Beth Zasloff, Elissa Aline Linden r, Avi Heller, Bottom Row : Veronica, An dy Debby Dusan sky, Sema Gol Neiman, Noam Pianko, dstein, Megan Lewis


Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

Top Row: Eddie Feld, Michael Paley, Amber Seligson, Dan Silverstein, Jessica Zellner, Yair Silverman, Etan Cohen, Marc Prosser, Joshua Stayn, Shira Katz, Rebecca Milder, Avi Orlow, Leah Oppenheim, Ned Foss, Sara Saperstein, Jake Dorman, Elisheva Septeimus, Igor Timofeyev, Rachel Bluth, Josh Meyer Second Row: Briyah Paley, Naamah Paley, Dana Weinberg, Brett Abrahams, Marta Weiss, Julie Geller, Marina Vinokur, Deborah Kovsky, Ari Bernstein, Karen Zasloff Bottom Row: Ran Kremer, Debby Dusansky, Avi Weinstein, Dana Raucher, Ruth Sohn, Veronica Zilberstein

Top Ro w Daniel : Yehuda Ku rt Freema n, David zer, Wayne Le e Jone Second Gillers s, Robe rt Brysk Ran Kre Row: Dana R aucher, in, mer, Sh Weinste Kathry imon F n Eckste elix, Da in, And rew Ka v in tzman, id Bell, Joshu , Gilad Aram Middle Jason Y a R a Paley, S ow: Rachel N agoda, Levithan, Av , h i u Jessica Talia M aron Cohen A ssbaum, Josh R a din ilgrom-E u nisfeld, lcott Aaron Wa Goodman, M Bottom ichael enger, Heathe Avlana Row: Sarah A r Sokolo E ff, Tanya T isenberg, All lpert, Brent S ilver, K ie Alpe rakht, A a ro Leah C y n la v y ich, L a Sh Stra over, B riyah a ifman, Miriam auren Winne ssfeld, nd Naa r, mah Pa Heller, Zara H ley erskov its,

an, y Perlm r, Jerem rman, David e h c rn u a ana R Suga Fraidste Davis, D Siris, Michael ed Foss, Josh a n e R : in N w ff, Top Ro rown, Benjam , Eliot Dobris, Bourko n lB el, Dania n ra Michae , Tamar Gordo Is a n a h ky piro, L tein, Ruth So Andors s iller, ina Scha ow: Ad aley, Avi Wein Sarah G R d n o c P i Rous, n n a h a Mid se aley, Gabriel eitler, N streich lP rn Jesse H Michae Ponet, man, Elijah Do id v a D t, ow: Lieb Chocha Third R Paley, Jessica ffi e oth bi Lev, S Braunig, Ari R a G , a Naamah m n e ra rr A a d W , ila ick, Kalman Row: G ina Warn Fourth mpson, Nadia Paley, G h a y o ri h B T , Aliza ohen hel Levy adine C Row: N Farhadian, Rac m o tt o li B a licker, T Sarah F

Top Row: Gilad Arama, Avi Weinstein, David Nir, Emil Kleinhaus, Josh Perry, Jed Roher, Jonathan Bluth, Alisa Mall, Jacob Sadikman, Regina Stein, Itamar Moses, Jonathan Safran Foer, Counselor, Dana Raucher Second Row: Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Joshua Bush, Rachel Gordan, Dara Horn Schulman, Shira Fishman, Itia Roth Shmidman, Sara Schwartz Chrismer, Judith Batalion, Aaron Rosenberg, Matti Friedman Bottom Row: Ilana Lapid, Rachel Farbiarz, Nadya Rashkovetsky, Sara Meirowitz, Sara Klein Eisenberg, Ilya Fischhoff, Ariel Adesnik, Becky Weiss

, Weisbard in, Talia k, te s in e c W n, Avi ob Dwe Meed, Farhadia tt, Yaac ma, Tali an, Jesse Zari Simon, Jessica ra A d a : Gil Levit rolyn Top Row hen, Abraham ri Lipman, Ca r, A o , C rg b e o b c a n chneide J tz-Gree Sonia S elix a F l, D a n y o th re rn im h Co elle Ste rry Kislowicz, wards, S n, Mich a Larry Ed y Kapla , Lisa Exler, B rom Elcott, a s d in L Row: a Orkin m Milg Second ustern, Jessic penheim, Noa A p , Alyshea berg, Noah O rs a Mann s lu F ji , Meliss n h Mye n a Be la ic r p M e a , K rn rama arly Tu k, Ruth Yuval A rshan, K Chernic Lauren razer, Ilana Ku : w ro Bottom lvay, Michael F a David S 27

Top Row: Mat th Jonathan Wac ew Rascoff, Dan Greensp ahn, Daniel Sm hter, Judah Sk okler, off, Jimmy Dav Susanna Goldfi is, Aron Goetz nger, Miriam Schiffer, Jona than Lachman l, Marisa Harford, Second Row: , Yoni Engelh Adam Magnu art s, Adina Gerve Weiner, Soph r, Margie Klei ie Oberfield, n, Ariel Grove Rachel Lowe, man Jenna Slotin, Bottom Row Sara Liss :M Michal Scharli iriam Sheinbein, Adam Ch n, Tali Griffel, ristian, Sheila Josh Kayman Nazarian,

Top Row: Elisheva Yuan, Shayna Strom, Dan Edinberg, Gavri Kellerman, Tova Serkin, Shira Palmer-Sherman Z’L, Steven Exler, Anya Kamenetz, David Wolkenfeld, Donya Khalili, Jonathan Gribetz, Dan Mintz, Jeff Gordon, Isaac Dovere, Alison Hornstein, Taylor Krauss, Eli Batalion, David Kamin, Gabe Freiman, Danny Stolzman Bottom Row: Becky Voorwinde, Sara Leventhal Fleiss, Jessica Fechtor, Zina Miller, Sarah Cowan, Ari Simon

Top Ro w Anisfeld : Yehuda Ku rt Ezra Ly , Aaron Orkin zer, Ruth Kap o la , Rosenz n, Hannah Sa Brett Lockspe n, Ava Charn rvasy, N e, Sharo weig, D iser, Da e v avid Sc n hlitt, D d Foss, Diann id Mahfouda Cohen Second a , Raya e v id R C o o Gerwin w: Erin h Terry, le Matt G rE ss , Yuval Scha oldberg Arama es, Annie , Josh rff, Elizabeth , S h im P Bottom C on Feli latt, Ju x, dd Kes ate, Liz Kilste Rachae Row: Josh F sler, Re in, Joe oer, Jo l Wagn b F e ishman k ah Hart e Berm er, Shir , , Rache a a Simo l Burste n, David n, Elina Sega in l, S Plunke tt, Lev usan Pultman Nelson , , Terri G insberg 28

Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

, n Felix , Shimo Fitch, in te s i Wein acks, Nick S vey, Av am Jan Weisbard, Eli an d A , e rm rn ri e a A v h al, il , C S n ua Seg w: Ava z-Phela , Susan le, Josh uth Kaplan Top Ro uk, Dan Kurt im Diamond b o S r J n ennife n Berson, R Josh W ohler-Esses, er, a Auel, J C Kisling , Asher ryan Hirsch, D n e Dianne h o n, Lara ma C ia B n d , a a n e D rh er, Em in Row: elli Fa ev Bals in rlin, Sh Getting Second osenbaum, Z dith Se Beller, Ellie rock, Sara Kra R u J a , in a n m h B Yo ra ra h a A a S l h , a s uv witz Jeru Row: Y li Lebo l Kort, Bottom ockshin, Anju irzen, Rache B L i Shosh an, Lisa y-Ogm Kipple

Top Row: Yuval Arama, Stephanie Ives, Ruth Kaplan, Alice Walden, Rebecca Noecker, Shimon Felix, Ben Kapnik, Eric Shapiro , Elan Lipson, Moses Sternstein, Joseph Nussbaum, Michael Gensheimer, Yakov Frydman-Kohl, Gerry Serotta, Sharon Cohen Anisfeld , Dianne Cohler-Esses Second Row: Yehuda Kurtzer, Rachel Stone, Danny Greene , Anat Maytal, Jonah Morningstar, Julia Malouin, Liba Rubens tein, Yona Gorelick, Eric Trager Bottom Row: Dave Cohen, Cee Strauss, Giselle Revah, Jesse Finkelstein, Allison Lauterbach, Jessica Kantor, Rachel Dweck, Hannah Farber, Micah Fitzerman-Blue

e, enhous abe Ros raiman, G , e rn a Cha eoff B sen, Av ilder, G , Rafi Ro Lauter, Sam W l Arama in rt a M a l d , Rache ard, Yuv w: Jare arik, Top Ro Alex Sherman elix, Ari Weisb en Mag s, r, F e n ri o h S im kshin, B er, Raysh Weis h c Liz S o , L rt m o a p z l o o e m p N ff e a , ri R n N Ezra rodbarn, Tali G Hamilto Jeffrey rshan, Sarah B lisabeth Cohe : w o R Luck, Second orn, Ariella Ku abeth Ochs, E n, ff, Zach K liz o-Goro Palmer-Sherma n Melissa in, Eli Braun, E ia rc a M m a le ia in K ir n a o Ann rtz, M art, Y aomi H olomon-Schwa Row: N S Bottom hwartz, Chana man c Adam S acs, Iscah Wald a Gidon Is


Top Row: Yoni Pomerantz, Be Ben Saltzman n Amster, Nic , David Back, Yehuda Kurtz k Renner, Jacob Stoil, er Second Row : Hy Hannah Mayne Matz, Yonah Krakowsky, Eli , Paley, Anya M Ben Siegel, Stephanie Kant Terry, Talya Kagedan, anning, Binny or Kagedan, Jaco , Alana Weiss, Naamah b Merlin Third Row: Yu val Arama, Ta li Griffel, Shim Cohler-Esses, on Felix, Diann Sharon Cohe n Anisfeld, St eve Cohen, Av e Bottom Row: a Charne Talie Shalmon , Ab Sarah Marcus, Kate Frommer by Friedman, Kate Rosenb er , Sandra Di Ca pua, Aaron Ch g, Jaclyn Rubin, arlop-Powers

Top Row: Yuval Arama, Leah Breslow, Ava Charne, Rachel Firestone, Elisha Fredman, Roman Rozenfeld, Seffy Muller, Keegan Haid, Casey Weiss, Michel Grosz, Nathan Stall, Ryder Kessler, Jeff Eisenberg Z’L, Shimon Felix, Matti Friedman Second Row: Yehuda Kurtzer, Tali Griffel, Anna Hutt, Hanna Sufrin, Rachel Heitler, Alana Kinarsky, Leah Jordan, Ross Arbes, Ben Bokser, Inna Ayzenberg, Nerissa Clark, Rachel Nussbaum, Noam Pianko Bottom Row: Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Peter Ganong, Jon Feinberg, Noah Kippley-Ogman, Sarah Barenbaum, Talia Karasov, Deborah Beth Medows

Top Row : Lindenfe Raffi Magarik, N ld Hoising , Shimon Felix ina Schuchman ton, Ale , x Kaplan Sarah Rapopo , Andrew Kibert rt , Nat Ro , Second senzweig , Alex Schatzbe Judd Row: Ja rg, Moll , Susan Rachel c o b D y oc Pultman C , Jim Dia Masha ohen, Elisheva toroff, Ariela R mond Shpolbe o G rg, Kait oldberg, Vick thstein, Julian lin Nem y Mesri a Specto Bottom e e , r, th An R , Jordan Zohar A ow: Evan Park Hirsch, na Romanet, tkins, Yit s, Jodi Fri z Lande Sharon Cohen ed, Dav s, Ariel id Schli Fisher, L Anisfeld, Tann tt er Haid arry Edw , ards, Le on Furc htgott


Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

mer ael Gru Felix, ki, Mich Shimon ls a h ic M alman, r, Larry Kos K i ta v S Z r, erne David x l Nadle Cohen, , Ariel W acks, Ale w: Hille l, Danny ael Pomerantz ky, Deborah S an, Asya Top Ro e g ie S m hm ich vitz Row: Sa pnik, M nnah Ric aron Kri Second in, Hannah Ka niel Marans, A Noa Silver, Ha , te a s n D a p ronfm Ben E chlitt, David S , Josh B ie, rnreich, , Sara Manning la Brod ff, Nico Ariel Pollock, z ro rt a o n w n -G h a o c m S ld lue, rcian Tzipi Alt aviv Mu ina Fitzerman-B , Daniel Anisfe Zlatina, rama, R N um A , a l n b a a s v s u u Y rm Row: chel N v Silve Bottom benstein, Mera en Anisfeld, Ra h u o R C y ll n o ro M a feld, Sh Tali Anis

Top Row: Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Bus Driver, Courtney Yadoo, Benamy Yashar, Nate Gardenswartz, Mateo Aceves, David Gruber, Nat Sufrin, Priscilla Frank, Shani Rosenbaum, Larry Edwards, Rachel Merzel, Allison Rhodes, William Herlands, Madeleine Levey, Rivkah Blutstein, Ava Charne, Lauren Kahn, Mitzi Steiner, Inna Alecksandrovich, Ben Phelps, Zach Luck, Shimon Felix Bottom Row: Leah Breslow, Yuval Arama, Claudia Kreiman, Gideon Finck, Gabe Greenwood, Ben Steiner, Lauren Rhodes, Tali Anisfeld, Gabriel Fisher, Tova Nadler, Isaac Arnsdorf, Daniel Aniseld, Jacob Albert

oseph, , Edie J e Paley, s e m e ody N udkoff, Gab itan Y ewis, H rielle L apnik, Cody be Frieden, E ah A r, e d K a il G h W a , c ebek n h a n it l Sm k, Ha w: Isa eyer, R Top Ro n Wagtendon Zinkow, Danie witz, Julie M , Assaf Snir k l o a Anya V denfeld, Yae annah Rabin Yasha Magari brams H in Eliot A Noah L z, Ari Atkins, Samy Belfer, rumer, G it l, l e w e k o a n Lefk che ldman, , Mich , Ben S a Terry erta Go li b a o D R , Judson , h g li Fitc Goldin Row: A Eliana aplan, Second K a s s ly Row: E Bottom adoo Y n Jorda


Top Row: Jaco b Clayton-Dunn, Grunberger, Jack DeTar, Jacob Hutt, Aa Andreas Rote ron nberg, Danee Zach Bleemer , Elie Peltz, Ju l stin Shechtel, Schaechter, Sam Telzak, Aaron Weinb Second Row erg : Br Jake Spinowitz iah Cahana, Julie Cronan, Ben Friedman , Serena Covk , Ali Kriegsman in , Alana Fichm , Grace Wallack, Tobah Au an, Olivia Win kl d, Shira Telush and, Bottom Row kin : Kayla Foster , Rebecca Mar Tamar Blanch golies, Jana Ko ard zlowski,

Top Row: Assaf Snir, Ilana Kurshan, Jeffrey Kessler, Kenny Cohen, Jonathan Schwartz, Adam Shapiro, David Getman, Shira Atkins, Stephen Rutman, Philip Hoffman, Jacob Sunshine, Shimon Felix Second Row: Ariel Fisher, Andy Bachman, Brooke Freeman, Kyle Hardgrave, Josh Rubin, Michelle Bayefsky, Justin Cuperfain, Louisa Kornblatt, Allison Lazarus, Naomi Sharp, Sonia Saltzman, Rachel Cohen Third Row: Shira Engel, Ari Prescott Bottom Row: Susanna Feinstein, Daniel Penner, Aliza Gans, Bina Peltz, Rebecca Stein, Sophie Wiepking-Brown, Mattie Kahn

Top Ro w: Fern ando W Second einer, K evin Ye Step, K Row: Rafi Bil did Bo dner, S al Victo tton h nah Du r, Nate imon F ncan, A elix, Sk Biller, D y ryeh N ussbau anny Roberts ler Siegel, Eth Third R m Coh o en, Orl , Elliot Mame an Plaue, Jo Amalya w: Madelein s i Major t, Jaco e b Emo eph Avital M Sherman, Au Brown, Sara nt, Han h Jaco drey M andil, D b a s, J rc anielle Bottom Ellison us, Kassandra ulie Hartman , , R N L A o o a rie ew w: Il thalie G Jonah oykhm en, Marnina l Miller, Fisher, ana Kurshan an Wirtsch ,R Nathan after, Wexler, achel Cohen , Jethro Hannah Berkm Acheso an, n-Field 32

Reflections bronfmanIM 2012

Top Row: Zane Hellman, Gabe Fisher, Max Weiss, Josh Leifer, Daniel Liss, Hannah Gorman, Sam Maron, Avital Morris, Dvir Cahana, Elena Hoffenberg, Rafi Ellenson, Jake Zucker, Ari Allen, David Milewicz, Ayelet Wenger Bottom Row: Anna Meixler, Maya Rosen, Chava Lansky, Dalia Wolfson, Becca Bakal, Rachel Glazer, Emma Goldberg, Lea Luterstein, Anya Tudisco, Ben Wolfson, Alex Maged

Opinions expressed are those of contributors and do not represent the official positions of The Bronfman Fellowships. For more information about the Bronfman Fellowships: For more information about the Amitei Bronfman program: We are grateful to The Samuel Bronfman Foundation for their ongoing support and vision.

Top Row: Rachel Nussbaum, Vanessa Ochs, Avichai Bass, Daniel Krane, Aitan Groener, Jessi Glueck, Michael Avi-Yonah, Gabrielle Kirsch, Ilan Mandil, Matt Landes, Zach Young, Jacob Shapiro, Grant Glazer Middle Row: Sophie Kasakove, Emily Goldberg, Gabriela Hoberman, Tamar Lindenbaum, Rachelli Baruch, Reyna Schaechter, Elon Swartz, Claire Lazar, Yosi Yeshaya Bottom Row: Zohar Zion, Mishael Zion, Yasmine Eichbaum, Lital Firestone, Leora Balinsky, Talya Nevins, Brandon Kaplowitz, Talia Rothstein Missing: Harry Wexner


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