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Building Jewish Education

Mark Berns - 2022 BJE Honoree

By profession, Mark is a CPA, and by any measure, a leader in his field. His devotion to service as a lay leader in the community goes back decades. He always brings his exemplary professional skills to bear in his volunteer leadership. In fact, though Mark always has a great deal on his plate, he gives his full attention to whomever he is supporting. In addition to serving as immediate Past President at BJE, he has served on BJE’s Personnel, Day School Governance and Finance, Planning and Budget, Audit, and Investment Committees. He is a past president of Stephen Wise Temple, served on the Milken Community High School Executive Committee, where he co-chaired the Middle School Building Committee, and has volunteered to help struggling congregations as a member of the National Board of the Union of Reform Judaism.

Mark’s BJE Accomplishments:

• Bringing his financial expertise to bear, Mark strengthened BJE’s finances by helping to eliminate escalating pension costs while still securing benefits for employees.

• Mark played a vital leadership role in helping BJE respond to the challenges faced during the pandemic, including cancellation of the International March of the Living.

• Mark has played an active role in BJE’s support of day schools through the Governance and Finance Committee, resulting in financially strengthening a number of individual day schools throughout the community.

Mark on BJE: BJE is the most inclusive organization that I have ever been involved with, engaging the full spectrum of our Jewish community and supporting and enriching Jewish education and its teachers, administrators and boards from early childhood through high school and everything in between. It’s important to me to increase awareness in the community of the excellent work BJE does for Jewish education.

Gil on Mark: Mark is a remarkable human being in the way that he relates to people. He has incredible intelligence and many skills that he brings to his work, both professional and volunteer. But he never takes a “lone ranger” approach. He’s a true collaborator and partner and has earned the tremendous respect of both his fellow lay leaders and BJE’s professional staff.

Miriam on Mark: I have been blessed to work and partner with Mark during his tenure as president of BJE from 2017 to 2020 and for years prior and since. I have learned tremendously from Mark’s leadership, wisdom, commitment to the community and menschlichkeit. I am truly blessed to have a wonderful lay partner in Mark, whose vision and support enable BJE to shine amongst organizations.

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