Rabbi Matthew L. Berkowitz, director of Israel Programs at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), will receive the prestigious Rabbi Simon Greenberg Leadership Award at the JTS and B'nai Torah Congregation Annual Dinner on Monday, December 14. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and take place at B’nai Torah, 6261 SW 18th Street, Boca Raton. Rabbi Daniel Nevins, Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School of JTS, will deliver the keynote address.
The Rabbi Simon Greenberg Leadership Award is presented for outstanding devotion to klal Yisrael (the entire Jewish community) and to all humanity and for unswerving loyalty to JTS. Alisa and Richard Cohen and Marilee and Sam Susi are event chairpersons.
Rabbi Berkowitz is also cofounder of Kol Ha-Ot, a new Jerusalem-based venture devoted to exploring the arts and Jewish learning. Prior to his current positions, Rabbi Berkowitz served for ten years as the JTS Senior Rabbinic Fellow, organizing substantive adult learning throughout Florida and beyond. A member of the Wexner Heritage Program faculty, he completed his undergraduate work in International Relations and Middle East Studies, summa cum laude, at Colgate University. While in Israel, he studied at Pardes and the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. Rabbi Berkowitz was ordained by The Rabbinical School in 1999 and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow alumnus.
An accomplished artist, Rabbi Berkowitz was formally trained in Jewish scribal art in Jerusalem. He completed the writing of Megillat Esther, the illumination of several ketubbot (marriage contracts), and a limited-edition artist portfolio called Passover Landscapes: Illuminations on the Exodus, which was later acquired by Yale University, exhibited at Yeshiva University Museum (April 2006), and is now on permanent exhibit at JTS. This past year he studied illustration and oil painting at the Jerusalem Studio School. Rabbi Berkowitz resides in Jerusalem and became an oleh (new Israeli citizen) on August 27, 2009.
In addition to his position as dean of The Rabbinical School, Rabbi Nevins is also senior lecturer in the school’s Department of Professional and Pastoral Skills and a member of the Chancellor's Academic Council. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) and serves on its Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS). Rabbi Nevins has written responsa on the halakhic (Jewish legal) topics of personal status, disabilities, bioethics, and homosexuality. Previously, he served for thirteen years as rabbi of Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Rabbi Nevins, who has published numerous articles and essays in journals and news media, was president of the Michigan Board of Rabbis, the Farmington Area Interfaith Association, and the Michigan region of the RA, and a founding board member and faculty member of the Frankel Academy of Metropolitan Detroit. He earned his bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard College and his master’s degree and rabbinical ordination from JTS. Rabbi Nevins received a graduate fellowship from the Wexner Foundation.
Visit the JTS website at www.jtsa.edu