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 2024 Great Jewish Books Summer Program will run from July 28–August 2.
What does the program cost?
Every accepted participant receives a scholarship covering the full cost of tuition, room, board, books, and special events.
Where would I stay?
Students live alongside residential staff in a Hampshire College dormitory, where they experience a taste of college life.
Are there off-campus activities?
Most activities will happen on campus or at the Yiddish Book Center. Students may take part in field trips and other recreational activities in the Amherst area, off the Hampshire College campus, with transportation provided by program staff.
“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!”
—Great Jewish Books student
Who are the program staff?
Residential Assistants (RAs) live in the dorms and are present during meals and activities throughout the day. Our trained RAs are college graduates, including alumni of the Center’s educational programs. All are at least twenty-one years of age. Knowledgeable and passionate about Jewish literature, RAs lead students in daily small-group discussions on class readings. They also participate in and chaperone extracurricular activities such as hikes, sing-alongs, and field trips. The program manager, who supervises the RAs, is closely involved with student activities throughout the week and is always accessible to students who have questions or concerns.
Where would I eat?
Most meals are eaten at the Hampshire College dining hall, though a few will be catered at the Yiddish Book Center. The college dining services offer a diverse selection of nutritious foods and beverages, including extensive vegetarian options. The dining hall staff work hard to accommodate allergies and special dietary needs. Let us know in advance about any dietary restrictions or preferences.
Is kosher food available?
While the Hampshire dining hall does not serve kosher food, we provide alternative kosher meals for students who request them in advance. Kosher and non-kosher students eat together in the dining hall, with disposable plates and utensils provided for kosher food.