Brandeis-Bardin Institute

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Coordinates: 34°15′34″N 118°42′47″W / 34.25954°N 118.713166°W / 34.25954; -118.713166 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. In the 1950s, BBI was known as Brandeis Camp Institute (BCI), with Shlomo Bardin was the Director. The institute branched out into a program for college-aged Jews, now called 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[1] would be among the many leaders of the Institute.

Donated in 1968 by the family of actor James Arness (of Gunsmoke), the Brandeis Bardin Institute is the largest piece of Jewish owned land outside of the land of Israel.[citation needed]

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.

Filming locations[edit]

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:


External links[edit]