The Rampage

My BIMA Experience

Rebecca Araten

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As I was looking for something both fun and educational to do over this past
summer, I specifically wanted to focus on some of my hobbies to which I was unable to
allot much time during the school year. BIMA, a Brandeis Precollege Program, met my
criteria. BIMA is a program devoted to the arts, and it is dedicated to helping high school
students explore their artistic side as well as their Judaism. Many different forms of art
were embraced in the program: participants chose to study either creative writing,
theater, visual arts, choral music, or instrumental music. I participated in the visual arts
portion of the program and developed skills in many artistic media and materials.
Despite the differences in areas of interest, the participants felt very close and united
because of their shared appreciation for the arts.
The first two weeks of the program were filled with guided instruction and
assignments to help us strengthen our skills. During the final two weeks, we each
developed a final project which reflected all of the skills on which we had been working.
In addition to the artistic training that the program offered, it also concentrated on
connecting to Jewish texts and culture. The program was pluralistic and brought
together Jews from many different backgrounds. We all worked together to plan
Shabbat activities, and we applied Jewish texts (specifically the book of Jonah) to areas
of art as part of the Artists Beit Midrash. The program fostered a sense of community
and camaraderie that helped me to grow as an artist as well as an individual.

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