End-of-Year Reflections

December 21, 2023

Dear Berman Community,

This year has certainly been one of formidable challenges, challenges that were impossible to anticipate for our school community, the Jewish people, the state of Israel, and the world. And yet, as the world that we knew dissolved, we’ve also seen a world emerge full of kindness and compassion, and full of moral conscience, protest, and hope.

With Medinat Yisrael as a core value in our school, the Berman school community met and continues to rise to this historic moment. Since October 7, we’ve joined together in prayer, song, storytelling, and solidarity; we’ve continued to cultivate a profound love and connection to Israel in all of our classrooms; we’ve embraced refugee students from Israel in all of our divisions; we’ve been inspired by our alumni in Israel, studying Torah and serving in Tzahal; we’ve sent strength to our alumni and greater community combating anti-semitism, and we’ve supported our parents and leaders traveling around the world, supporting our chayalim and homeland.

In this challenging time, our staff’s remarkable efforts have been crucial towards providing our students with a sense of safety and empowerment amidst feelings of powerlessness. They have skillfully balanced regular academic routines with enriching opportunities for students to connect more deeply with their Jewish heritage, Israel, and Torah. All the while, they have shared in the nation’s collective grief and navigated the uncertainties of daily life.

Now more than ever, the global Jewish community needs strong Jewish institutions, both in Israel and throughout the world. And while it’s only been six months in my tenure, it is clear to me that the necessity of a Berman education, the place of a strong Modern Orthodox, proudly Zionist school, is critical to the Greater Washington area, and necessary for the global Jewish community.

As we move into the second half of this challenging but milestone 80th year for Berman, we will continue to build on our school’s strong foundation and values–and  dream towards the future. We are grateful to have over 730 students enrolled in our school, illuminating our dreams in this dark hour and carrying our future forward. As we embark on this next chapter of our school, we are excited about our future growth, reaching towards 800 students in the near future. 

As you consider your end-of-year tzedakah, please consider making an impact in the future of the students at Berman Hebrew Academy. Please see below for ways to donate.

With tefilot for good news in the days and months ahead,

Rabbi Dr. Hillel Broder
Head of School