The 2021 Great Jewish Books Program will be fully remote.
Who can apply to the Great Jewish Books Summer Program?
Any high school student currently in tenth or eleventh grade is eligible to apply. Students at Great Jewish Books come from a wide variety of backgrounds, Jewish affiliations, and experiences. We welcome people with multiple heritages, people of color, LGBTQ+ participants, and non-Jewish participants.
What are the dates of this year's program?
The 2021 Great Jewish Books Summer Program will run virtually from June 20-July 30. The most intensive part of the program is the final week, July 26-30.
What is the application deadline?
To apply for the program, students must submit an online application, transcript(s), and two recommendations. Applications for the 2021 Great Jewish Books Summer Program are now closed.
What does the program cost?
Every accepted participant receives a scholarship covering the full cost of tuition and books.
“I learned SO much about topics I am very passionate about, and really appreciated having a space to do so with other teens who shared my passions. The Great Jewish Books program was so meaningful and enriching and I'm so fortunate to have been a part of it!”
—2020 Great Jewish Books online participant
Who are the program staff?
Our trained activity leaders are college graduates, including alumni of the Center’s educational programs. Knowledgeable and passionate about Jewish literature, they lead students in small-group discussions and extracurricular activities such as crafting, sing-alongs, and Yiddish lessons. The program manager, who supervises the activity leaders, is closely involved with student activities throughout the program and is always accessible to students who have questions or concerns. The program assistant helps plan and lead program activities and is available to students or parents who have questions or concerns.
How much of a time commitment will the program be?
The first five weeks feature up to 2 hours of live material each day, interspersed with activities that students can do on their own time. Students will have weekly reading assignments, as well as writing assignments or other creative tasks that they will submit in response to the readings. We hope this flexible schedule will allow students to participate in other summer activities alongside Great Jewish Books. The final week of the program is a more intensive deep-dive, consisting of 4-5 hours of content per day. Students will be notified in advance of the full schedule of online activities so they can plan accordingly. You can view the tentative schedule here.
Do I have to participate in all the activities?
Students are expected to participate in the program to their fullest ability. Not all activities are mandatory, but students must at minimum attend the program orientations, all seminars with faculty, book groups, and weekly partner check-ins, and should complete all reading and writing assignments. Social activities are optional but encouraged (and fun!). All Zoom events will have built-in breaks to prevent Zoom fatigue, and Discord can be used for asynchronous conversations.
What tools do I need to participate?
Students should have access to a computer or mobile device with a camera and microphone, and reliable internet access. If you do not have access to these things and are interested in attending the program, please contact us. Students will receive books and other class materials in the mail.
Will the online program still be a rewarding experience?
Yes! While we wish students were joining us in person this summer, our faculty and staff have spent the last year developing a fun and engaging virtual experience. The 2021 program, the second online Great Jewish Books Summer Program, will be an engaging, community-oriented learning opportunity full of fun activities and, of course, good books.