Frequently Asked Questions

For general questions about dining, medical procedures, and life at Brandeis, please refer to our general FAQ.

When is BIMA?

BIMA takes place from July 2, 2018 - July 30, 2018.

How do I apply?

Our application form will be available November 1, 2017. The full application packet requires online forms, an arts sample and applicant essays.

What does a typical day at BIMA look like?

On a typical day at BIMA you might start off with an early morning Yoga sessions, have a master class with a visiting artist after breakfast, use your free time to learn print-making, and end your day   mashing up electronic music with biblical text.

Sample Schedule 

7:10 a.m. - Optional "Kavannot"

·     Traditional Mehitzah Minyan

·     Traditional Egalitarian Minyan

·     Sunrise Yoga

7:30 a.m. - Breakfast

9:00 a.m. - Majors

·     Visual Arts trip to MFA

·     Creative Writing trip to Boston Commons

1:00 p.m. - Lunch

2:00 p.m. - Chofesh

3:30 p.m. - Artists Beit Midrash

5:30 p.m. - Dinner

7:30 p.m. - Participant Showcase

11:00 p.m. - Students in dorms

Who can attend BIMA?

You are eligible to apply to BIMA if you are entering 10th-12th grade in fall 2018, and if you have serious interest and experience in the arts. Participants will be selected based on their previous experience with and commitment to the arts, as well as their interest in participating in a pluralistic Jewish community.

What is the tuition and what does it include?

Summer 2018 tuition is $6,400. Tuition for every participant is significantly subsidized by generous donors. The tuition covers all costs during the program including instruction, food, housing, field trips, and recreational activities. The tuition does not include costs of transportation to and from Boston, international student visa costs (about $250), medical insurance, laundry (machines are located in the dormitories), or spending money.

What is Jewish life like at BIMA?

BIMA is a truly pluralistic environment with participants from all backgrounds taking part in creating a vibrant Jewish community. From deep discussions, to Shabbat celebrations that run from traditional to experimental, you will explore and grow your Judaism while at BIMA. BIMA is supportive of all of the ways in which Shabbat and Kashrut are observed.

Sherman Dining Hall offers both Kosher and non-Kosher residential dining experience. Students can visit the Kosher serving line for hot entrees, soup, salad, dessert, drinks, cereals, and more and then take their meal to eat with friends in the community dining space. The Kosher side is supervised closely by a K-V-H mashgiach (Kosher supervisor), along with the Dining Services team who ensure that meat and dairy are prepared in separate, dedicated kitchens, utilizing two completely separate sets of utensils, dishes, stoves, dishwashers, and all other cookware. A dairy breakfast is served daily and meat and dairy days rotate for lunch and dinner. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Shabbat are meat days (with vegan and vegetarian options available) and Tuesdays and Thursdays are dairy days.

Is financial aid available?

BIMA works closely with families to make the program financially feasible. This includes limited BIMA financial aid, as well as assistance in securing other potential sources of funding. Families interested in need-based financial aid need to complete the BIMA Financial Aid form. The form is available once you start applying in your online account.

For applicants from Russian-speaking families, there are scholarship opportunities available through the Genesis Philanthropy Group.

If you have never before attended a Jewish summer overnight camp, you may qualify for a $1,000 campership incentive from the Foundation for Jewish Camp.

Is it difficult to get accepted to BIMA?

Admission to BIMA is selective based on a full review of all of the application materials. Participants are high school students who have shown significant investment as well as talent in their chosen arts discipline, who exhibit a high level of maturity, and who are excited about living in and contributing to a diverse, creative, Jewish community. Attention is also given to the skill level in each of the majors in order to ensure that the participants in each arts major can work together at the highest possible level.

Who are the other participants in the program?

BIMA is a coeducational, pluralistic Jewish community of artists that seeks to bring together students passionate about the arts and creative learning from across the world. Participants come from all over the United States, Canada, Israel, Russia, Germany, and other countries, with diverse artistic and educational experiences, family backgrounds, and previous experience with Judaism.

Do you have to be Jewish to attend?

In accordance with the principles of Brandeis University, BIMA is a non-sectarian program, with the primary requirement for entry being an eagerness to learn and participate in our community. BIMA welcomes participants from all backgrounds and previous experiences with Judaism.

Who are the faculty and staff?

The BIMA arts faculty are accomplished professional musicians, artists, writers and actors. The residential staff of community educators includes graduate students, rabbinical students, arts educators and Jewish educators.

Are there other high school students on campus during BIMA?

Genesis runs parallel to BIMA with many points of interaction between the two programs. Participants live in the same residence halls and have the opportunity to interact around the planning and celebration of Shabbat and certain areas of community life.

Brandeis Precollege Programs also runs other programs during the summer that have less contact with BIMA and Genesis. Service Corps and App Design boot camp overlap with some of BIMA.