We are pleased to announce that Rabbi Kevin Bernstein will be joining Beth David’s professional team on June 1 as our next Director of Education. Our Educator Search Committee and so many of you who gave us feedback after meeting him were all impressed by his warmth, his passion for Jewish education, and his natural connection with teens and children. As the head of the Religious School, Rabbi Bernstein will work closely with Rabbi Kalisch and Cantor Levy to make sure Beth David continues to be a vibrant and nurturing learning community for children, teens, and parents.
Rabbi Bernstein was ordained in 2007 from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he most recently worked as the Assistant Director of Development. His rich experience as a Jewish professional includes serving as the Director of Education at Germantown Jewish Centre; a special needs Hebrew teacher, science teacher, and rabbi of the middle school at Perelman Jewish Day School; an educational consultant for organizations including Moving Traditions and the Jewish Community Center Association; a coordinator for the Union for Reform Judaism’s Mitzvah Corps program for teens; a cantorial soloist; and a moyel helping parents to welcome new babies through circumcision and naming ceremonies.
All of this experience working in the Jewish community - in fact, working with humans - is Rabbi Bernstein's second career. Previously, he worked for 15 years as a veterinarian in the United States, Holland, and Israel, including work in a small animal clinic, in vaccine research, and on a kibbutz. He and his wife, Rebecca Meyer, live in Elkins Park, but also raised their three daughters in Israel; all are dual citizens. Currently, he and his wife are enjoying an emptying nest, with daughters living in Tel Aviv and Madison, Wisconsin. Rabbi Bernstein is a sports fan and has been an avid recreational softball player for the past forty years, including a stint on the Israel National Fast Pitch Team.
Please watch your e-mail for announcements regarding opportunities to meet Rabbi Bernstein during the spring, summer and fall. Or feel free to stop by Beth David and introduce yourself after he officially joins us on June 1.
We want to extend our gratitude to the members of the Educator Search Committee for their hard work, persistence, and diligence. Rachel Mauceri, Alex Helpin, Ben Helpin, Donna Kramer, Lisa Schreiber, Steve Sokoll, Sue Sukonik, and Larry Ward have all devoted many hours over the entire 18-month search, and Elaine Savoy, Marjorie Volpp, and Gary Zimmer also served on the committee during the first year of the search.
And, finally, we want to offer our deepest thanks to Susan Levey, who is leaving us a lasting educational legacy after 25 years of service. There is no replacing Susan, but we know our congregation’s future is brighter because of the foundation of caring and connection that she built.
Susan Cohen-Dickler and Jason Newman, Co-chairs, Educator Search Committee
Rabbi Beth Kalisch
Ray Reed, President