RetreatPlus Reflections

"The Israel for Real Retreat Plus was quite an event to organize. Through working together with Esther and Julia, I got a taste of collaborating with a student such as myself under the supervision of the BGI staff.

Our aim was to educate the participants about Israel through an apolitical lens. Bringing Shai Bazak, Consul General of Israel to New England, to speak at our event along with Nir Landau and Gordon Dale provided the event with  a multilateral dimension by infusing culture and history into a day of intellectual discussion through the lenses of diplomacy, photography, and music.

Thanks to the organizational ability and advice of BGI staff, the event turned out to be a success and has given me the drive to continue to work under the auspices of the BGI."  Retreat Plus Organizer, BGI Fellow,  Daniel Shpolyansky.

"The retreat was really fun and I learned a lot.  I especially enjoyed a conversation with Shai Bazak and his perspectives on Israel. All together it was an extremely informative day" BGI Fellow, Lev Gorfinkel.

 "The experience was great. It was nice to gather with all of the Russian speaking people that you see around campus, meet them, and then learn about Israel."  Retreat Plus guest Alexander Belkin.


Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry held its first Plus Retreat - What I Think You Think of Me . Undergraduate BGI fellows and their peers from Brandeis were invited to participate in a range of discussions, interactive sessions and workshops on issues concerning Russian Jewish identity, Jewish history and the relations between the Russian and American Jewish communities.

The retreat was organized by a group of BGI fellows - Julian Olidort, Julia Rabkin, Victor Zhivich, Daniel Shpolyanksy, Monica Pevzner and Judah Khaykin, as well as two Brandeis University students - Mitch Berkowitz and Jacob Chatinover.  The program included a presentation by Professor Dubinina, screening of the Refusenik movie and a range of creative workshops and interactive sessions.

Israel For Real

Held Sunday, February 5
Temple Israel Boston

The second Brandeis-Genesis Institute Retreat Plus was focused on Israel.  BGI Undergraduate Fellows and their peers from Brandeis enjoyed a day of learning, conversation and reflection about Israel and its culture. The retreat focused on different aspects of modern Israel, ranging from society and music to current geopolitics in the Middle East. The program included an interactive lecture, creative workshops and intellectual discussions.  We were honored to have Shai Bazak, Consul General of Israel to New England as our keynote speaker.

The retreat was organized by a team of BGI fellows - Esther Tandetnik, Daniel Shpolyansky and Julia Smirnova.

BGI Fellows

BGI Fellows

BGI Fellows and their Plus Guests

BGI Fellows and their Pluses (Guests)