Rachel Brunelle

Rachel BrunelleCommunity Contributor

When not looking up inspiring quotes to post on her overly condensed cork-board, Rachel can be found sipping a cup of coffee, occupying a seat in the Bronfman Center at NYU and socializing with anybody who walks through the door. Rachel loves exploring new ideas, cultures and places. She has traveled with the JDC (Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) to India, connecting her love for traveling with her passion for strengthening her ties to the Jewish people. Rachel studied abroad at NYU Prague and served as a Bronfman Center Global Ambassador as well as a Kahal Ambassador, connecting American Jewish students to the Jewish community in Prague. Rachel has served as the Social Chair of Shalhevet, the Orthodox community at NYU, a Jewish Life Liason and an Engagement Intern at The Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. Additionally, Rachel served on the Inaugural Student Cabinet of Hillel International and worked at The Samuel Bronfman Foundation. Aside from her Jewish communal passions, Rachel is committed to pursuing a career in nursing and serves as a class representative on the Nursing Students for Global Public Health board.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

The Bronfman Center Is A Home Away From Home

Not all college students can reflect on their experiences in such a positive light, attributing much of their success and happiness to their Jewish Center on campus, like New York’s downtown Jewish students can. The Bronfman Center at NYU houses a unique space, through various clubs and student groups, for everyone to belong, connect, engage in meaningful conversation, engage in Jewish culture and experience the diversity within Jewish life, enhancing the overall college experience.

At the Bronfman Center, pluralism is not just an ideal it strive towards, it is a value set that is seen day in and day out through the Bronfman Center’s various programming. Whether it be through the Jewish Learning Fellowship, or Shabbat for 2000, students are exposed to different facets of the Jewish world and can truly connect to the sense of peoplehood Judaism promotes.


The Bronfman Center presents itself like a compelling story to spark interest and involvement. Stories reach people beyond the spoken word and it is almost always impossible to gage the full impact a story has on a person. By simply walking through the Bronfman Center, you may not know the exact story it is telling, but you can feel the emotions and uplifting atmosphere it creates. It is a space that propels students forward, to deepen their understanding of self, others, the Jewish community and the world at large.

The Bronfman Center is a story that parallels a home. A space to socialize, listen and learn. A space to smile with other’s joy and cry with their pain. We are blessed to have a vibrant community to be changemakers amongst ourselves, bridging the gap within our own insular communities, and changemakers with the larger downtown community when needs arise.

This article is part of the Forward’s first-ever College Guide — to read more fascinating stories and see the definitive rankings, click here.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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