It must be spring, 'cause Bronstein Week's here

A 45-year-old tradition celebrates a professor's passion and zest for life

Whether the weather is hot or cold, Brandeisians know that the spirit of spring arrives with Bronstein Week, which this year kicks off on Wednesday. The 2012 program, dubbed “American Road Trip,” is a virtual tour making stops from New York City to the Santa Monica Pier in California – all on campus. Student Events spent the past semester planning the week.

Students will watch stand-up acts, eat great food and hit up parties while keeping their carbon emissions down.

The week, dedicated to Professor Leo Bronstein, began in 1967 as Bronstein was about to retire.

Bronstein spent much of his youth traveling and studying in Europe, including Imperial Russia, World War I and post-war Paris, Italy, Morocco and pre-civil war Spain. He spoke Russian, Polish, English, German, French, Italian, Castilian, Catalan and Portuguese. He came to the U.S. in 1932 and worked as a research associate and then as associate professor at the Iranian Institute of Art and Archaeology, known later as the Asia Institute.

Bronstein joined the Brandeis faculty as a lecturer in fine arts In 1952. He became an associate professor of fine arts in 1955 and a full professor of fine arts and Near Eastern civilization in 1961.

Known for his passionate style of teaching, Bronstein was revered by many of his students. The year he retired they decided that they wanted to show their appreciation and organized a day of celebration. The first event was a medieval pageant complete with a steer roasted on a spit, wine, and acrobats.

Organizers of this year’s events say Bronstein believed in the sanctification of life through everyday celebration. Bronstein felt that everyone could see, including the blind, and that to see was to celebrate.

According to this year's organizers, the original organizer of Bronstein weekend held that the single most important lesson that Bronstein taught was “total humility bordering almost on the ridiculous.”


Fuel up with a Wake and Shake. Enjoy coffee, donuts and giveaways from 9 to noon outside Usdan

Then travel to New York City for a Comedy Night dinner and show. Enjoy an Italian dinner from Sabations while Brandeis’ own Bad Grammar opens for Paul Nardizzi, a top Boston comedian who has performed on Conan O'Brien and Comedy Central, 7 to 9 p.m. in Levin Ballroom. 

Pull in for the night at Joe Sent Me for a Brandeis Bar Night. Enjoy free drinks while they last with a Brandeis ID, transportation will be provided all night. 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Those under 21 will not be admitted.


The Road trip heads down to Florida. Enjoy BBQ as you cheer on the Brandeis Judges Baseball team against Western New England University. The game starts at 3 p.m. at the baseball field. 

Make sure to get a few rounds of golf in while you're in Florida! Come to Levin Ballroom and play mini golf 7 to 9:00 pm


Summer starts early at California’s famous Santa Monica Pier. Enjoy performers, vendors, airbrush tattoos, a bounce house and free food.  2 to 5 pm Great Lawn

Friday night walk the red carpet and see the latest installment of the Mission Impossible series, “Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol.” Enjoy candy and raffle prizes while watching the action. 8 pm Mandel Auditorium (G03)


The road trip heads south to Louisiana for the Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball. Dance to the beats of Brandeis Dj Marcos and enjoy free beer for those 21+ (two forms of ID required). And don’t forget to bring a mask. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sherman Function Hall. Students under 21 will be admitted to the dance.


Our last stop is on Sunday for the Texas State Fair. Jump on a bungee trampoline and a moon bounce, check out the petting zoo, and compete for awesome prizes. There will be great food and giveaways. 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Chapels Field.

Categories: Student Life

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