I am writing to inform you that applications for the twenty-fourth annual Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel (BYFI) are now being accepted for summer 2010, and to ask for your active assistance in publicizing the program to appropriate students.
The purpose of the Fellowships is to increase understanding and tolerance among the different Jewish denominations. Fellows range from those who are religiously observant to those only marginally affiliated with Judaism. Our goal is to teach the talented youth of today, who may be the leaders of tomorrow, how to understand the whole spectrum of the Jewish people through discussion, study, and an interaction with the land and people of Israel. A hallmark of the Fellowship is the close relationship Fellows enjoy with each other, their counselors and the diverse faculty. The faculty remains in contact with a majority of the Fellows throughout their years in university and beyond.
BYFI is a fully funded fellowship that is among the most prestigious programs available to outstanding Jewish students of all backgrounds who are in their junior year of high school. The academic and professional successes of its 597 alumni reflect the high quality of the program and highlight the kinds of benefits that can redound to its participants.
For example, over 50% of BYFI alumni have attended Ivy League schools. Indeed, The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel has been listed by Chuck Hughes, former Senior Admissions Officer at Harvard, in his book, "What it Really Takes to Get Into the Ivy League and other Highly Selective Colleges," as one of the programs which "act as filters for admissions officers to validate candidates who have been similarly identified by other organizations for talent and promise." Professionally, BYFI alumni comprise former U.S. Supreme Court Clerks, celebrated authors, journalists and producers with leading news organizations such as The New York Times and NBC, and numerous teachers, scholars and clergy.
This fully funded Fellowship program will take place from July 5 through August 11, 2010. After the summer in Israel, it will be continued with a fall seminar in New York City and other alumni activities scheduled throughout the year. The Fellowships are awarded competitively to twenty-six individuals who will be entering the twelfth grade of school in the fall of 2010. Fellowship awards are based on merit.
It should be made clear that no Jewish educational background is required for eligibility. We are looking for applicants who have shown themselves to be outstanding individuals in leadership, character and academics. Given that we seek a diverse community, we define excellence in a variety of ways: intellectual curiosity and accomplishment, response to challenge, and leadership both among peers and within established organizations.
If you know Jewish students who may be interested in our program, please encourage them to go to our website, www.bronfman.org. Our website features: an online brochure, an informational video and complete application material. Our printed brochure is available upon request.
Thank you for making this opportunity available.
Rabbi Shimon Felix
Encourage outstanding students to apply, click here.