Hey, Torah Punkers!
I would like to tell you about a Jewish summer program that changed my life. The Brandeis Collegiate Institute, known affectionately to its alumni as BCI, is a 26-day program for young adults age 18-26. BCI gathers young Jews from around the world and brings them together to learn about their traditions, culture, and religion; to meet and bond with one another; and to explore their inner selves.
Every day in Beit Midrash, we study Jewish texts and discuss various aspects of Jewish life and culture. Guest speakers come from all over to speak to us, including artists, rabbis, professors, and others. Each of us is also placed in an arts workshop. This year the offerings were dance, music, creative writing, theater, 3-D visual art, and 2-D visual art. In arts workshop, we get to work with a skilled artist who helps us in creating, either individually or as a group, a unique work of art. We also participate in rotating community service projects (Avodah), such as working in the gardens and orchards, beautifying an outdoor prayer space, painting murals, making mosaics, and so on. We also sing, dance, eat and cook, hike, camp, swim, and just enjoy each other’
s company. In doing these activities together, we create friendships, and take joy in creating a true spiritual community, a kehillah kedosha, a sacred family. One of the most beautiful parts of BCI is the shabbatot that we spend together. BCI shabbatot are deeply spiritual and joyful.
I could tell you other things about BCI, but it would almost feel like giving away too many secrets. Suffice it to say that if any of this appeals to you at all, you should go! It is the experience of a lifetime! Applications will be accepted beginning in October. For more information, or to apply, go to bci.ajula.edu. If you have any particular questions that you want to ask me, as a BCI alum, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Miriam Bak.