A Message from the Board President

Dear Berman Community,

Below is a Dvar Torah I shared during the 2020 Annual Meeting about school and community.

In parshat Beha’alotcha the commandment to light the Menorah is described. The Menorah has always been a symbol of knowledge in our tradition.

The seven lamps allude to the branches of human knowledge, represented by the six lamps inclined inwards towards, and symbolically guided by, the light of God represented by the central lamp. As a school we strive to provide a place of learning and knowledge guided by our holy tradition and Torah.

But the Menorah has also been seen as another type of symbol. I once heard an idea that the Menorah represents our family. The child is symbolically stationed in the center with each parent and set of grandparents flanking the central lamp. On each side, the lamps are tilted inwards as the family looks to nurture and grow the child.

In fact, it is not a commandment to simply light the menorah. Rather, the verse uses the word Beha’lotcha, to uplift the flame. The rabbis explain that all of the processes necessary to nurture the flame are needed to fulfill the commandment. The cleaning and refilling of the lamps are a critical part of the commandment so that the light can not only be lit but properly nurtured to rise and burn brightly for as long as possible.

Berman is a family, a community, focused on nurturing each and every child at our school. The Menorah is the perfect symbol for this time. It represents the knowledge the school provides, guided by our Torah, and focused around each child, to allow each child to grow and burn brightly for their entire lives.

I look forward to working with you, our parents, and staff on insuring that every child gets the education and knowledge they need and deserve to always guide them through life.

Please feel free to contact me at

Benny Berkowitz


Board of Directors
Executive Committee:
President Benjamin Berkowitz
1st Vice President Reuven Zakheim
2nd Vice President/
Development Chair
Elan Burman
Treasurer Evan Smith
Secretary Naomi Carmel
Trustee Ellie Kagan
Trustee Moshe Schwartz
Trustee Alana Fine
Chair, Planned Giving Manette Mayberg
Co-Chair, External Relations Diana Epstein
Co-Chair, External Relations Debra Reiter Panitch
Immediate Past President David Sloan
Head of School Rabbi Dr. Yossi Kastan
Aharon Boltax Rena Opert
Mandy Book Elise Saks
Lisa Brookman Darren Schneider
Benjamin Galper Neil Siegel
Stephanie Gurevich Talia Stansbury
Tova Jaffe Joy Sturm
Aviva Lebson
Ari Moskowitz
Ex-Officio Members of the Board:
Chair, PTO Shana Siesser
2nd Past President Orlee Turitz
3rd Past President Behnam Dayanim
President, Jewish Federation Samuel Kaplan
CEO, Jewish Federation Gil Preuss

Development Committee

The Development Committee is charged with expanding the reach of the Annual, Capital and Endowment fundraising efforts of Berman. Serving on the development committee entails direct solicitation and outreach to new potential supporters. With the full support of the Berman staff and the chair, the committee will communicate mostly through e-mail and phone in addition to periodic meetings. The committee will have regular solicitation training and access to all Berman marketing materials. Please contact Elan Burman, Development Chair.