About Genesis

The Genesis program at Brandeis University is an immersive, experiential program for rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who have an interest in exploring Jewish thought, culture and identity through the lens of an academic discipline and as part of a vibrant, global community.

Genesis participants choose one of six courses of study in addition to a Jewish studies elective called an “Expedition”. Taught by outstanding faculty, courses and expeditions offer in-depth, hands-on study that take full advantage of the faculty and resources at Brandeis and the greater Boston area.

Participants can expect to gain expertise in their academic course, a deeper understanding of their Jewish identity and powerful friendships with Jewish students from around the world.

About Genesis

A Typical Day at Genesis

A typical day at Genesis might start with a delicious breakfast in the newly renovated Sherman dining hall, move to an exciting field trip in downtown Boston, back to campus for lunch and some downtime, followed by meeting with a Brandeis professor as part of the Expeditions, a “Kavanah” or prayerful time to help cultivate a sense of presence, and dinner followed by participant showcase. Here is a sample schedule from this past summer:


7:15 am

Optional Kavanot:

  • Traditional Egalitarian Minyan

  • Traditional Mechitzah Minyan

8:00 am


9:00 am


  • Gender and Sexuality - Field trip to Museum of Fine Arts

  • Social Entrepreneurship - Field trip to Greentown Labs

  • All other courses meet in seminar rooms

12:30 pm


2:00 pm


  • Spiderman Soccer - Chapels Field

  • iPad Painting - Upper Usdan

3:30 pm


6:00 pm


7:30 - 9:30 pm

Visions of Israel and the Diaspora

11:00 pm


12:00 am

In rooms

The History of Genesis

Genesis was established in 1997 with a generous grant from Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation.  It was designed as a summer program combining academics, Jewish studies, as well as building a diverse, international Jewish community.