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BIMA at Brandeis University

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young jewish boy studying next to a table.

BIMA at Brandeis University

BIMA at Brandeis University is a prestigious institution located in Waltham, Massachusetts that has a rich history and a unique place in the world of higher education. Founded in 1948 in the aftermath of World War II, Brandeis has become known for its commitment to academic excellence, social justice, and a vibrant, diverse community of scholars.

The university was named in honor of Louis D. Brandeis, the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice, whose legacy of advocacy for social justice and civil rights continues to influence the institution’s mission.

From its inception, Brandeis University has been dedicated to providing an exceptional education. It is consistently ranked among the top universities in the United States, known for its rigorous academic programs and world-class faculty.

Why Choose BIMA at Brandeis University?

Brandeis University is a prestigious institution with a rich history of academic excellence, social justice advocacy, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion. For high school students considering their higher education options, BIMA at Brandeis offers a unique and engaging environment where they can pursue their academic passions while actively participating in creating a more just and equitable world.

It is a place where intellectual curiosity thrives where students are encouraged to think critically and make a positive impact on society.

The BIMA Legacy

Throughout its history, BIMA has held a special place as Brandeis University’s summer arts institute tailored for high school students.

It has served as a global hub for creative and passionate teenagers, drawing young talents from various corners of the world to immerse themselves in a diverse array of creative experiences, all viewed through the lens of Judaism.

Over time, BIMA and Genesis have operated side by side, sharing numerous connections and fostering a collective community of Jewish teenagers who share a common passion for exploring Jewish teachings in diverse ways.

Following the conclusion of the summer in 2019, BIMA and Genesis came together under the umbrella of Genesis.

This merger allowed Brandeis University to provide a comprehensive range of courses, spanning both the arts and academics, all while nurturing a pluralistic, inclusive, immersive, and imaginative summer Jewish community for high school students in grades 10-12.

By combining the strengths and assets of both BIMA and Genesis, the staff and faculty of Brandeis Precollege can tap into a broader pool of resources, thus enhancing the overall program.

two Judaism scholars facing one another

BIMA at Brandeis University: The Summer Pre-college Experience

The Summer Precollege Experience at Brandeis University’s courses are tailored specifically for high school students or individuals with an educational background equivalent to U.S. high school standards, which includes those contemplating a “gap year” before college.

Genesis Precollege Program: An Overview

With the support of dedicated educators and teaching assistants from the Brandeis University community, you will have the chance to uncover the distinct qualities that make Brandeis University special.

This includes its renowned institutes and centers that delve into Jewish studies. Throughout your journey, you will also deepen your grasp of Judaism through spiritual rituals, short courses, community-building events, opportunities for social activism, engaging guest workshops, and much more.

You will go on a quest to broaden your horizons, nurture your unique voice, and pursue your passions within our vibrant community. Along the way, you’ll discover how the wisdom, study, and practice of Judaism can shape your path toward a fairer world.

Lifelong friendships will be forged, connections with inspiring Jewish thought leaders will be made, and you’ll experience the extraordinary life on the Brandeis University campus that awaits you.

Rivalry, Redemption and Renewal: Relationships in the Bible

Ever wondered what we can glean from the ancient tales of biblical figures like Jacob and Esau, Abraham and Sarah, or Ruth and Naomi about navigating our own family, friendship, and community dynamics?

In this captivating course, you are on a journey through the intricate tapestry of human relationships depicted in our most sacred texts. Through their triumphs and tragedies, you will uncover valuable lessons that can guide us in our own interactions.

If you have a passion for delving deep into Jewish texts and are intrigued by how our biblical ancestors navigated the complexities of human connection (or sometimes failed to), this course is tailor-made for you!

Justice Brandeis, Bread and Roses and Beyond: American Social Movements and the Jews

Louis Brandeis, the namesake of the university, etched his name in history as the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice in the United States. He played a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s legal and social landscape.

Carrying forward his legacy, American Jews have continued to serve as leaders and community activists in some of the country’s most impactful social movements, spanning from the Labor Movement to the Civil Rights era and beyond.

This thought-provoking course invites you to explore the enduring impact of Justice Brandeis and how the engagement of the American Jewish community in the quest for equality and freedom continues to shape the fabric of American society today.

Nesiyot/Explorations: Dive into Creative Jewish Learning and Activities

Discover the world of creative Jewish learning and engaging programs that take place on weekday afternoons. You’ll have a range of exciting options to choose from, including:

  • Creative Writing
  • Making Music
  • Visual Art
  • Pluralism and Leadership
  • Torah and Talmud Study
  • Advanced Research Skills

Kavanot/Spiritual Practice: Nurturing the Soul

Throughout the week, you’ll have several opportunities for daily prayer, spiritual reflection, study, and personal growth.

Bayit/Home Base: Building Connections

Forge strong bonds within smaller communities of Genesis students who come together each day to process the day’s events, discuss challenges, build a sense of belonging, and unwind.

Young male studying in a library.

Tochnit Erev/Evening Programming: Fun and Community-Building

Expect a plethora of enjoyable social activities that foster a sense of community and create a relaxed atmosphere.

Past events have included thrilling scavenger hunts, cozy movie nights, strategic board games, dazzling talent shows, and more. You are also encouraged to contribute your ideas for evening programs.

Tiyyulim/Trips: Explore Boston Together

Embark on exciting journeys around Boston with your fellow Genesis participants every Sunday. Previous outings have included visits to Boston Common, the Museum of Fine Arts, kayaking on the Charles River, and other exciting adventures.

Shabbat: Leading the Way

At Genesis, you’ll take the reins of leadership for all Genesis Shabbat services and programming, starting from Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday evening to Havdalah on Saturday evening.

You will receive guidance and mentorship from the dedicated Genesis staff as you take on this meaningful responsibility.

A Day In The Life of a Genesis Student at Brandeis University

Here’s what the daily routine from Monday to Thursday looks like:

8:30 AM: Optional Morning Prayer Gathering

9 AM: Breakfast/Aruchat Boker

10 AM: Academic Classes

12 PM: Lunch/Aruchat Tzohorayim

1-2 PM: Rest and Relaxation Time/Menucha

2-4 PM: Engaging Activities and Exploration/Nesiyot

4-6 PM: Free Time

6-7 PM: Dinner/Aruchat Erev

7-7:45 PM: Spiritual Reflection and Practice (Known as “Kavanot/Spiritual Practice”)

8-10 PM: Evening Programs/Tochnit Erev

10-10:30 PM: Return to Your Residence and Snack/Bayit and Snack

11 PM: Check-In and Good Night/Laila Tov

Saturday Shabbat Schedule

On Shabbat (Saturday), their schedule adjusts to allow for a day of rest and communal observance:

9-10 AM: Breakfast

10-11:30 AM: Various Prayer Options/Tefillah Options

12-1 PM: Kiddush and Lunch

1-2 PM: Rest and Relaxation Time/Menucha

4-6 PM: Free Time

6:30-7:30 PM: Shabbat Dinner

7:45-9:15 PM: Evening Programs/Tochnit Erev

9:15-9:45 PM: Havdalah Ceremony and Snack

11 PM: Check-In and Good Night/Laila Tov

Sunday Schedule

The Sunday schedule includes a special day for exploration:

8:30 AM: Optional Morning Prayer Gathering

9 AM: Breakfast/Aruchat Boker

10 AM: Exciting Day Trip Activities/Tiyulim/Trip Day!

5:30 PM: Return to Campus

6-7 PM: Dinner/Aruchat Erev

7-7:45 PM: Spiritual Reflection and Practice/Kavanot

8-10 PM: Evening Programs/Tochnit Erev

10-10:30 PM: Return to Your Residence and Snack/Bayit and Snack

11 PM: Check-in and Good Night/Laila Tov

Important Dates to Remember

Genesis 2023 Schedule: July 4-28, 2024

Scholarship Application Deadline: April 1, 2024

Application Submission Deadline: May 1, 2024

Pricing

Tuition Fee: $5,535*

Upon registration, all students must provide a $500 deposit, which will be subtracted from the total tuition cost.

*As of Summer 2023 pricing

A female student studying for AP exam

Why Choose The Genesis Pre-college Program at Brandeis University?

Genesis has a primary mission: to cultivate a vibrant Jewish teenage community where diverse viewpoints and perspectives are not just welcome but cherished.

They encourage students to question assumptions and embrace differences with respect and appreciation.

A unique aspect of Genesis is that students themselves take the lead in crafting Shabbat programs. This hands-on experience becomes a laboratory where teens collaboratively create Shabbat moments that resonate with everyone.

Genesis aspires to build a Jewish community that intentionally embraces pluralism, mirroring the rich tapestry of the national and global Jewish communities represented by our Genesis students.

These students come from all walks of life: some hail from small towns with limited Jewish presence, while others come from bustling cities with thriving Jewish populations and everything in between.

Genesis students encompass a wide spectrum of backgrounds and beliefs. Some are active members of synagogues, attend Jewish day schools, and engage deeply in organized Jewish life.

Others may identify as culturally Jewish or simply as “just Jewish.” Some follow Jewish religious practices closely, keeping kosher, observing Shabbat, or celebrating Jewish holidays at home. Others possess varying levels of Jewish knowledge and literacy.

At Genesis, they emphasize that there is no single “right” way to be Jewish, especially at Brandeis University.

To accommodate the diversity of Jewish practices, they offer kosher food at every meal, provide a range of daily prayer services (minyanim), offer spiritual practice programs, and conduct Shabbat services.

During Shabbat, students are encouraged to take a break from technology in all common areas. Importantly, all learning at Genesis takes place in an inclusive, egalitarian setting where students are not segregated by gender.

BIMA at Brandeis University Precollege Online Program: An Overview

If you’re enthusiastic about a particular subject and eager to dive into it before heading off to college, this is your golden opportunity! The Brandeis Precollege Online Program presents specially crafted courses tailor-made for high school students aged 13 and above.

The Brandeis University’s Precollege Online Program costs $995.

These courses come complete with captivating videos led by Brandeis faculty and provide you with access to mentors who can guide you on your learning journey.

What’s even more appealing is that this program is open year-round, and its online format offers you the flexibility to study wherever and whenever you choose, all at your own comfortable pace.

Young woman looking serious while studying.

BIMA at Brandeis University Online Pre-college Program Courses Offered

Civil Litigation

In this course, you’ll step into the shoes of a lawyer, gaining insight into what it means to navigate the intricate world of legal practice.

You’ll delve into various types of disputes, explore the relevant laws, and grasp the fundamental distinctions between civil and criminal cases.

Throughout your journey, you’ll acquire the skills to construct persuasive arguments supported by evidence and precedent-setting legal decisions.

You’ll even have the opportunity to conduct an interview with your client, devise a strategic research plan, and discern when the best course of action is either to pursue litigation in court or to seek a settlement.

By the end of this course, you will have the ability to differentiate between civil and criminal litigation, distinguishing between various types of cases. Here are the skills you will gain from this course:

  • You will gain insight into the methods employed by lawyers to collect evidence and articulate their arguments effectively.
  • You will be equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions when selecting an attorney for a civil dispute.
  • You will develop a set of valuable skills that are highly relevant to careers in the legal and law-related sectors.
  • You will have the opportunity to hone your abilities in composing written reports and delivering oral presentations.
  • You will be empowered to evaluate whether a career in the field of law aligns with your interests and aspirations.

Environmental Science

What if we could use creativity and teamwork to make our world a better place for everyone? In this course, you step into the shoes of a citizen scientist, ready to conduct research and share your discoveries to inspire positive change.

You’ll dive into the topic of climate change on a global level and explore how it affects your local community. You’ll uncover the carbon footprint of your own household and explore ways to reduce its impact on the environment.

You will delve into the history of the environmental movement, examine the significance of the Paris Agreement, and explore America’s role in the field of climate science.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of using innovation and community collaboration to protect our planet, this course is your chance to become a part of the solution.

Here are the skills you will develop in learning this online Environmental Science course:

  • Master the art of substantiating your viewpoints with the most current scientific knowledge.
  • Gain an understanding of the biological evidence that underpins climate science.
  • Witness the practical application of scientific theories in your own community’s environment.
  • Acquire effective communication skills across a range of media platforms.
  • Assess whether a career in this field aligns with your future aspirations and interests.

Students talking in a table with notebooks and a laptop.

Women’s Health

What is the connection between the unique biology of females and their overall well-being? Are there specific diseases that disproportionately affect women? And how does societal status influence women’s health and their ability to access healthcare?

In this online course, we’ll explore the intricacies of women’s genetics, anatomy, and physiology, delving into areas such as hormones and reproductive health.

We’ll also conduct a detailed examination of particular health conditions, including endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), providing you with an in-depth understanding of these topics.

Skills You Will Develop Through This Course

  • You’ll acquire the ability to engage in conversations about the intricate aspects of women’s health within our society.
  • You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the hormonal, reproductive, and distinct metabolic processes in women.
  • You’ll become knowledgeable about topics related to diagnosis, treatment, vaccination, and ongoing healthcare in the context of women’s health.
  • You’ll learn how to make evidence-based arguments concerning women’s health issues.
  • You’ll have the capacity to assess whether a career in medicine or women’s health aligns with your interests and goals.

Global Health

Discover the origins and transmission mechanisms of infectious diseases and their far-reaching consequences on public policy, economic dynamics, and human rights.

Dive deep into the complex world of pandemics, with a particular focus on tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Unlike other disease-related courses that primarily delve into the scientific aspects, this one provides a comprehensive examination of their societal ramifications.

In addition to that, you will gain valuable skills in persuasive writing to advocate for change.

This course is essential for students considering future careers in pre-medical fields, STEM disciplines, government, or the not-for-profit sector.

Skills You’ll Develop Through This Course

  • You’ll attain the capability to engage in informed discussions about the impacts of worldwide diseases.
  • You’ll grasp the scientific principles governing the transmission of infectious diseases.
  • You’ll comprehend the political and economic factors influencing global health challenges.
  • You’ll gain effective communication skills to effectively express your views and opinions.
  • You’ll have the capacity to assess whether a career path in epidemiology, health policy, health economics, or global health advocacy aligns with your aspirations.

The Learning Advantages of Online Learning of BIMA at Brandeis University

Adaptive Learning

  • Completely online and adaptable to your schedule.
  • Engage with captivating video content whenever it suits you.
  • A comprehensive learning experience spanning 20 to 30 hours, featuring multimedia, simulations, and carefully curated assignments with mentor support.
  • Connect and collaborate with peers worldwide through online interactions.

Guided Mentorship

  • Benefit from dedicated mentorship to enhance your learning journey with support and answers to your queries.
  • Receive motivation, encouragement, and the confidence to excel in your studies.
  • Receive assistance with brainstorming and idea generation as you prepare for your final project.

Final Project

  • Showcase your newfound knowledge through a presentation.
  • Receive constructive feedback from your mentors on your project.
  • Select from a range of course-related topics to demonstrate your learning.
  • Utilize your preferred medium, whether it be text, video, photography, or PowerPoint, to convey your understanding.

Books and study materials in a table

How to Apply for the BIMA at Brandeis University Summer Precollege Programs?

They will provide step-by-step assistance with the application process, which consists of only a few pages and can be initiated in just two minutes. Go to Brandeis University’s official website and look for the application form online.

There’s no need to furnish transcripts or letters of recommendation. Instead, they will request basic details from you and a concise personal statement.

Completing the entire application should typically require no more than 20 to 30 minutes of your time.

They will require some basic information from you and are interested in understanding your motivation for selecting the courses you’ve opted for.

Your personal statement can be composed of a brief essay, video presentation, or other media formats that allow you to share your unique narrative.

Although they will request your GPA (academic average), there is no specific minimum GPA prerequisite for consideration. The focal point of your application lies in your personal statement.

Scholarship Information

BIMA at Brandeis University is dedicated to making the Genesis Precollege Program accessible to eligible students. Scholarships are available, and they are determined based on both financial need and academic merit.

When you apply for the Genesis program, there is a section where you can request a scholarship. Additionally, they offer convenient installment plans to help you manage your expenses.

As a special benefit, children of Brandeis University alumni are eligible for a tuition discount of $500.

If you’re part of the Better To Learn Cohort One program, you can apply your award towards a transformative summer experience at Genesis.

Brandeis University has established partnerships with various local and national organizations to provide additional scholarship opportunities:

  • Questbridge Fein Fellowship
  • Foundation for Jewish Camp/One Happy Camper
  • SUMMER: The New York Teen Initiative
  • Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland
  • Yemin Orde Youth Village in Haifa

Keep in mind that your local synagogue, Jewish Federation, or other Jewish organizations in your community may also offer scholarship opportunities to support your participation in the Genesis Precollege Program.

Final Thoughts

With a rich history deeply intertwined with its commitment to supporting Jewish high school students and offering exceptional pre-college programs, it continues to shape the minds and futures of young scholars.

As we’ve explored its remarkable journey and contributions, we are reminded that Brandeis University upholds its founders’ ideals and inspires a new generation to embrace the values of knowledge, compassion, and community.

If you have questions about college admissions, you’ve come to the right place! AdmissionSight’s seasoned professionals are ready to assist you. With over ten years of expertise in successfully navigating students through the competitive admissions journey, including admission to prestigious global universities, we invite you to schedule your first consultation with us today.

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