>> ... Next Generation ...
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The first in a series showcasing
young Jewish Detroiters making
their mark on communities
around the country.
It's amazing to me how similar Moishe House and TAMID
are in the Jewish and Zionist worlds, respectively. Up until a
few years ago, both spheres were dominated by bureaucratic,
archaic and outdated organizations. Moishe House and
TAMID are organizations that allow the end-user to create
the very programs that they want. Each has a "chapter"
model that gives the residents and students the ability to
customize events to meet the needs of their community
while still being true to the larger organization's vision. As
a result, hundreds of transient Jews have a home at Moishe
Houses around the world, and college students across the
country, not just Jews, have a way to interact with Israel
on a meaningful, lasting level. They are young, dynamic
organizations that speak to a young, dynamic generation.
ADAM FINKEL I SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS
lly Berman is a West Bloomfield native with
an infectious passion for Jewish life that she's
now transporting from Ann Arbor to Palo Alto,
Calif. As a 2013 graduate of the University of
Michigan, she was on the executive council of TAMID Israel
Investment Group. What started at U-M seven years ago
as a college club to connect business-minded students to
Israel has spread to 15 college campuses, including Harvard,
UPenn and Cornell. Dozens of college students have spent a
summer interning in Israel through the TAMID program.
Berman's experiences with TAMID led her to engage with
grassroots Jewish programs in Southern California. Within
months of graduation, she's been selected, along with three
others, to be a resident at the Palo Alto Moishe House.
Moishe House Palo Alto planned a dozen events last
month for the 20-something Jewish community near
Stanford University, including a Jewish Director's Film Series,
a Shabbat in the Sukkah and a Yom Kippur break-fast.
Berman's Judaic studies background and passion for social
entrepreneurship make her a perfect example of a young
adult able to lead a professional career while also igniting
creative solutions in the Jewish realm.
That's why Berman is the first in this JN series of doers
taking the passion they learned in Jewish Detroit to a
national stage. Amidst changes in the Jewish world, these
profiles will focus on the problem solvers, creators and doers
that represent the best of the next generation.
In what ways did your upbringing influence your
interest in Israel and the Jewish community?
moved up to be the national executive director of
programming and oversaw the organization's growth to 15
campuses by 2013, and facilitated the partnership with the
Israel on Campus Coalition and subsequent hiring of our first
full-time executive director.
What are TAMID's plans?
Big things are happening! Internally, the program structure
on the 15 campuses is solidifying; new campuses have
been added to launch in 2014. Investing and consulting
are maturing, and the summer fellowship is growing. Brett
Goldman, the executive director, is giving the organization
a new professional element, while the current students
continue to imbue TAMID with fresh ideas and directions in
which to grow.
(Palo Alto, Calif.)
University of Michigan-
Ross School of Business,
When did you start your residency at Moishe House
What has your experience been like?
My parents always encouraged me to be educated and
pursue my passions. It just happened to be that my passion
and subsequent education led me to Zionism and Jewish
engagement. I was encouraged to question things that don't
make sense and to challenge the status-quo, which is why I
believe I am continuously drawn to such innovative programs.
My family has been hugely supportive of my involvement
with both TAMID and Moishe House. I was also taught that
if I am going to do something, I should give it my all and
"do it right," which is why I have chosen to live my passions
through TAMID and Moishe House for the past four years.
How do you maintain a connection to the Jewish
Many of my friends from college moved back to Detroit, and
I am inspired and excited to follow their stories. Every chance
that I get, I talk up Detroit and the comeback I know is on its
horizon. Eventually I want to move back to Detroit and raise
a family there.
Do you have any interest in working in the Jewish
community on a full-time basis?
If the trend of innovation continues to work its way around
the Jewish nonprofit world, I would love to be a catalyst for
that change. In the interim, I am going to try my hand in
Where do you see your life 10 years from now?
Media Marketing (Media
Analyst) at Ampush
Zedek in Southfield
Parents: Julie and Allen
High School/yea r:
West Bloomfield High
Michael, Robin Berman
How would you describe TAMID?
Berman: New-age Israel advocacy. A way for college
students, not just Jews, to relate to Israel on a personal
and professional level that gives them a connection to
Israel I'tamid (forever).
What was your involvement with TAMID at U-M?
I started as a member of the bet class, then
36 October 3 • 2013
It's been a blast. The Palo Alto community is eclectic,
educated and kind. The combination of Stanford graduate
students, young professionals and entrepreneurs makes
for fascinating conversations and inspires out-of-the-box
What makes Moishe House Palo Alto distinct from
the typical Moishe House?
Palo Alto is part college town, part startup incubator and is
close enough to San Francisco that many people here have
a Peter Pan outlook on life. "Impossible" is not a word this
community uses because something unknown just represents
an opportunity not yet seized. The Palo Alto MoHo uses
that kinetic energy to provide a wide range of events that
welcome the breadth of interests in the area.
Why do you feel grassroots programs like Moishe
House and TAMID fulfill a need in the Jewish
Hopefully happy. I've accepted that any other details will
change no matter how much I plan.
Based on your experiences at U-M and now in Palo
Alto, what advice would you offer the Detroit Jewish
community with regard to attracting and retaining
Give us an opportunity to build something ourselves. There is
so much work to be done in Detroit, and it is an unbelievable
opportunity for the young Jewish community to help restore
the area to its former glory. I have witnessed firsthand the
power and imagination my generation possesses when
involved with meaningful projects. There is little that is more
meaningful than creating a safe, welcoming, thriving space
for the Detroit Jewish community.
Provide opportunities for us to come back and make an
impact. Our parents' generation should be resources, not
roadblocks. Encourage crazy ideas and share your passion
for the cause — that is the most infectious way I've seen to
inspire other to get things done.