As a parent, you are continually confronted with the challenge of equipping your teen with the skills, confidence and experiences that will make a whole life. School, work, family, community – each of these facets of our lives offers rewards and challenges. As a parent, we strive to enable our teens to make the most of their own opportunities, while holding fast to the values and wisdom that is part of Jewish tradition.
Immersive Jewish learning offers teens the chance to strengthen their sense of identity – to build their feeling of belonging and ask the essential questions that we must all confront.
For more than 20 years, Brandeis University has offered Genesis, its signature precollege program for Jewish teens, enabling them to engage in a rigorous academic program within the context of a uniquely Jewish lens. Our faculty lead students through complex, compelling topics that encourage critical thinking and challenge assumptions. All of our academic learning is infused with Jewish texts, traditions and perspectives.
As the circumstances in the United States and throughout the world grow more challenging, it is critical to foster the development of resilient and innovative Jewish leaders. Genesis is part of Brandeis Precollege Programs, summer sessions that enable bright and curious high school students to experience the academic and community life of Brandeis – and to consider rigorous higher education as part of their future. Genesis is aimed at building capacity through the experience of learning in a challenging academic environment; building a strong Jewish community; and navigating a diverse set of peers, instructors and college-level resources.
The decades to come are critical ones that will pose crucial questions for us all – questions about our environment, our social and economic structure, our democratic system and more. Now more than ever, it is vital that our teens are infused with the learning, values and commitment to make a difference.
Laura Hyman is Genesis director at Brandeis University. Laura has been a Jewish educator for more than twenty years, from leading a day school in California, to managing teen youth groups through New England and in Massachusetts. You can reach Laura directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.