Coordinates: The Brandeis-Bardin Campus of American Jewish University is a Jewish retreat located in Simi Valley, California, USA. Formerly known as the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, it is used for nondenominational summer programs for children, teens and young adults.
The Brandeis-Bardin Institute was founded by Shlomo Bardin, inspired by the ideals of the early Zionist movement and the ideas and financial support of Justice Louis Brandeis. The institute branched out into a program for college aged Jews called the Brandeis Collegiate Institute, and a summer and winter camp called Alonim.
Many greats got their starts at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute including Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi the founder of Renewal Judaism, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, and served as the springboard for the American Israeli Folk Dance movement started by Dani Dassa and continued by his son David Dassa. In the 1970s Rabbis Abraham Joshua Heschel and Mordecai Kaplan frequented the institute. Later on Rabbi Joseph Telushkin would lead a weekly Torah discussion at the House of the Book at the Brandeis Bardin Institute and Dennis Prager would be among the many leaders of the Institute.
Shlomo Bardin ran the Institute until 1976. He is buried on the grounds of the Brandeis Bardin Institute.
Journalist, Daniel Pearl, who was beheaded by Al Queda in Pakistan in 2002 (and about whom the Angelina Jolie film A Mighty Heart was made), and his family were long-time supporters of (and campers at) Brandeis.
In March 2007, officials from both the Brandeis-Bardin Institute and the University of Judaism, a non-denominational institution of higher education offering undergraduate and graduate degrees along with a rabbinical studies program located in Bel Air, announced they would merge into a new organization called American Jewish University.
In the 1950s, BBI was known as Brandeis Camp Institute (BCI); Shlomo Bardin was the Director.
The futuristic architecture of the campus's House of the Book, designed by architect Sidney Eisenshtat, has appeared as a location in several film and television projects:
- Camp Khitomer in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
- Lore's Borg compound in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Descent"
- The Command Center, later known as the Power Chamber, for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Power Rangers: Zeo, and Power Rangers Turbo
- The Lawnmower Man
- Marilyn Manson's video for "The Dope Show"
- Chris Brown's video for "Wall to Wall"
- The Rock & Roll History Museum in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
- The rear of the building (and surrounding vegetation) was featured in a recent[when?] Lexus commercial.
- Exterior and outside (around the grounds) of the House of Book and the institute were used for Mystery Woman: Vision of a Murder.
- The prison Camp Holliday in the movie Wedlock with Rutger Hauer.
- In the mid-80's revival of The Twilight Zone, the episdode "Dead Run", a scene between the Administrator of Hell and a new truck driver takes place here.
- The Wrenwood Center in Todd Haynes's Safe (1995) uses the House of the Book's interior and the camp's buildings and wilderness.
- The Atmospheric Research Institute exteriors in the The Storm (2009) mini-series.
- The museum in the 7th episode of the 3rd season of Chuck titled "Chuck Versus the Mask"
- The compound of the "Visualize" cult in the CBS show The Mentalist, a season 2 episode titled "Red All Over" and a season 4 episode titled "His Thoughts Were Red Thoughts"
- Earthonomy Headquarters in the Diagnosis: Murder episode "Dance of Danger"
- Several buildings, interior and exterior, of the cult on HBO's series "Big Love"
- In episode six of V.I.P. (TV series), Diamonds are a Val's Best Friend, in an exterior scene with Tasha, played by Molly Culver, taking photos. The name of the building was Protocon International.