Vision for our Future: Spaces Update

June 14, 2021

Dear Berman Community,

Earlier this year, I shared our first look at the vision for the future of Berman Hebrew Academy. Our vision is designed to support the success of every student and inspire and cultivate a student body that is skilled and engaged with learning, passionate about their Jewish religious life, prepared for post-Berman studies, and ready for leadership opportunities in the everyday world.

Our vision becomes reality through three strategic areas: our people, our programs, and our structures, including systems, schedules, and spaces. Recently, we’ve shared several personnel (people) updates, as well as updates about our program. Today, I wanted to take the opportunity to provide an update on some of the exciting changes we are making to our spaces and structures over the summer.

Our spaces must be designed to facilitate students’ personal growth and offer a sense of autonomy and flexibility. These spaces should include group gathering areas, multiple seating options, and a flexible layout that can be adapted for unique learning activities.

In addition to updating many of our classrooms over the summer, we are making significant updates to our Alexander and Rene Bohm Beit Midrash, Ethel S. Lerner Cafeteria, and the Dennis and Robin Berman Media Center.

To begin, we are switching the Beit Midrash and Media Center locations. This will put the Beit Midrash in the middle of our building, placing our spiritual center at the very heart of our school, literally and figuratively. As a Makom Tefillah, this space will host our Kollel and serve as an inspired space for tefillah and learning. With the ability to host up to 275 people, the space can also serve as a gathering space for our Berman community.

The Beit Midrash renovation is being generously sponsored by:

Alana and Brett Fine, in honor of their parents,
Gloria and Alvin Fine and Harriet and Marty Riss

Julianne and Jacob Schorr

The following significant donors from Kehilat Pardes:
Miki and Ari Moskowitz
Ellie Katz and Benjy Neumann
Hilde and Colin Alter

The Media Center will house our existing collection of over 21,000 books and serve as a regular library space for our classes, as well as a special space for the Morah Zlata Children’s Sifriya. Under the guidance of our Media Center Director, Ruchel Green, this space will continue to ensure our students are avid readers and effective users of ideas and information. The space will have distinct sections, with varied seating options, so our students can work both independently and collaboratively. Thank you to the Fine Family for generously sponsoring our Media Center renovation.

Finally, our cafeteria will be getting a facelift with a new modern and clean look. The space will hold up to 400 people and will have varied seating opportunities for older and younger students, providing an opportunity for students to gather together, share, reflect, bond, and laugh. The space will be fresh and inviting, making it a welcome space for students and faculty. The cafeteria renovation is being sponsored by Alana and Brett Fine in honor of their children.

We are excited to share more updates on these renovations over the summer, as well as additional updates regarding our vision. Please reach out if you have any questions.