The Bronfman Fellowship Annual Campaign

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FAQ About the Annual Campaign

(Updated 2019)


Q: Why did the Fellowship begin fundraising in 2013?

A: Our founder, Edgar M. Bronfman, passed away in 2013.  Over the past 30 years, Edgar and his philanthropy invested nearly $30M in the Fellowship, and his foundation (The Samuel Bronfman Foundation) continues to generously cover 91% of our operating expenses each year.  Their generosity covers most of our expenses, but not all.  As the breadth and depth of our mission and the size of our community grow, we seek new partners who have been impacted by the Fellowship to catapult this program into the future. That's where the generosity of our community donors makes a difference.

Q: Is the Fellowship free for participants?

A: The Fellowship operates with a negligible tuition obligation from participants.  One of our guiding principles is that the Fellowship should be merit-based and need-blind.  Financial need is never a barrier to participation and subsidies are available for travel to the interviews, to JFK for the start of Fellowship and for Fellowship Year programming and travel.  This helps us ensure a pluralistic, talented, and economically diverse learning community.  

Q: Is Edgar Bronfman’s family still involved in the Fellowship?

A: Yes!  Adam R. Bronfman, Edgar’s son, is the president of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation, and offers his heartfelt support of the Fellowship:

“The Bronfman Fellowship was, and continues to be, our most valued project.  As President of the Foundation, I am deeply committed to the perpetuity of the Fellowship.”

- Adam R. Bronfman

Q: What are the funds raised by the annual campaign used for?

A: The funds raised are used for virtually everything that touches our community of Fellows and alumni.  Here are just a few examples of what the money helps support:   

  • Immersive seminars.
  • Virtual learning programs.
  • Need-based travel subsidies.
  • Developing the curriculum for the summer fellowship.
  • Mentorship and networking for Fellows and alumni.
  • Top educators and highly sought-after speakers to meet with Fellows.

Q: Who funds the Israeli program (Amitei Bronfman)?

A: Amitei Bronfman is part of The Bronfman Fellowship.  When you donate, you help support our work with Israeli and American Bronfmanim.

Q: I did the program years ago. Is it the same program today as it was in the 1980s and 1990s?

A: Although The Bronfman Fellowship began as a study and travel summer program for a limited number of American students entering their senior year in high school, it has evolved over time to encompass four components, including over 100 days of immersive seminars:

  1. An American fellowship of 26 high school students that spends five weeks over the summer in Israel, followed by two multi-day seminars in the United States.
  2. An Israeli fellowship of 20 students that includes eight seminars in Israel and a two-week trip to the United States.
  3. Joint learning programs between the American and Israeli fellowship cohorts.
  4. Alumni community experiences including an annual weekend seminar for all college-age alumni; a unique Israeli-American peer-to-peer grant-making circle called the Alumni Venture Fund (AVF); in-person and virtual learning seminars; lifelong mentoring; and access to a vibrant network of 1200+ alumni.

While the Fellowship has evolved in significant ways, the heart of the Bronfman experience remains the same as it was when Edgar Bronfman founded it in 1987. It is steadfast in the belief that true pluralism is predicated on honest discourse and respectful relationships, even across potentially polarizing fault lines. Though Jews might practice their Judaism differently, learning can bring them together for a deeper exchange. The Bronfman Fellowship remains focused on providing both a context and a catalyst for fellows to study Jewish texts, traditions, history, and culture through a carefully designed curriculum that is intellectually challenging and existentially engaging. 

Q: Can you break down the Fellowship's budget for me?

The following data comes from our 2017 audit:

Q: Is the Fellowship a non-profit organization? Are gifts tax-deductible?

A: Yes, the Fellowship is a non-profit 501(c)(3) private operating foundation in the United States, and gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Q: Is my donation eligible for employer matching?

A: Yes, many employers will match donations to 501(c)(3) private operating foundations. However, you’ll need to check with your employer.

Q. How much should I donate?

A. That’s completely up to you. All gifts are welcome, and we hope that you’ll make a personally meaningful contribution that fits with your capacity and connection to the Fellowship. We believe in pluralism and diversity – this extends to our approach to fundraising and our efforts to remain an economically inclusive program and community.

Q:  How can I make a donation?

A: You can visit our website at or mail a check, made payable to The Bronfman Fellowship, to:

The Bronfman Fellowship

418 Broadway, 2nd Floor

Albany, NY 12207

Q: Are you still accepting donations specifically for the Alumni Venture Fund (AVF)?

A: Yes, we are. However, we encourage donors to contribute primarily to the annual campaign, as this gives the Fellowship the ability to use the funds where they’re needed most.  The AVF remains a core program of our alumni initiatives, and receives support through the annual campaign as well as through designated gifts.  Click here to donate to the AVF.

Q: Why should I make my donation recurring?

A: Recurring gifts provide reliable support for the Bronfman Fellowship and help lower administrative costs; that means more of your contribution goes into the programming and engagement you value.

Q: How can I get involved as a volunteer?

A: There are many ways to get involved!  For example, you can:

  • Host a local gathering of alumni.
  • Help recruit applicants for future cohorts.
  • Read applications to help us select Fellows.
  • Mentor a college-age alum.
  • Assist us with Alumni Venture Fund grant-making deliberations.

For more ideas or to discuss getting involved, please contact Aaron Steinberg at

Q: How many people donated to the Fellowship last year (2018)?

A: In 2018, a remarkable 414 people contributed gifts of all sizes to The Bronfman Fellowship, helping us raise $152,395.  These donors included 30% of North American alumni, as well as many Israeli alumni, parents, and friends of Bronfman. We are truly thankful for and amazed by the generosity of Bronfmanim.


To make a gift today, visit