The Ziering Brandeis Collegiate Institute (BCI) brings together young Jewish adults from all over the world to engage in Jewish learning, arts, culture and an exploration of community and self.  For over 70 years, BCI has provided a 26-day immersive experience at the Brandeis-Bardin Campus in Simi Valley, California for tens of thousands of young adults.   Dr. Shlomo Bardin, BCI’s founder, described BCI as a “laboratory for living Judaism.”  Due to the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19, this summer we shifted our laboratory online.  Kol Demama: The Voice Within is BCI’s Alumni Creativity Incubator, offering alumni an opportunity to reconnect with our sacred tradition through creative expression.

BCI alumni register for zoom-based workshops, providing them with the structure and space needed to be courageous creators.  Workshops, organized by creative discipline (photography, music, writing, etc.), explore a central prompt that emerges from Jewish text.  In response to text, alumni create, adding new layers of interpretation and uncovering new layers of self in the context of community.

BCI alumni—this is for you.  This is to remind you that you don’t need to be a professional artist to create.  You don’t need to be a rabbi to have something important to add to the Jewish conversation.  This is to reconnect you with your inner voice—for your sake and to add beauty and meaning to the world.

Sometimes, process leads to product.  Our art exhibition provides a space for alumni’s art to be shared with the world, to be appreciated by the BCI community, to stir us to think, feel, and create.

We are tremendously grateful to Ilana and Mark Meskin and Robin and Leonard Gurin for their generous support of Kol Demama: The Voice Within, our new BCI alumni engagement initiative.