Berman was ordained at Yeshiva University, from which he also received his B.A. and his M.H.L. He completed a degree in law, a J.D., at New York University, and an M.A. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied with David Daube. He spent two years studying mishpat ivri in Israel at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Tel Aviv University.
Berman was the rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel (Berkeley, California) from 1963 to 1969, of Young Israel of Brookline from 1969 to 1971. In 1971, following his departure from Young Israel of Brookline Berman was appointed Chairman of the Department if Judaic Studies of Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University. Under his leadership over the next thirteen years, it grew into the largest undergraduate Department of Jewish Studies in the United States. In 1984, he accepted the position as senior rabbi of Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan, New York where he served until 1990. During those years, he spearheaded an expansion of the adult education program, the creation of an extensive social action program based on halachic commitments, the growth of the Synagogue's Women's Tefillah Group, and the creation of new outreach programs to the unaffiliated.
In 1990, Berman returned to academic life, as Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Stern College, and as an adjunct Professor at Columbia University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar in Jewish Law. From 1995 to 1997, he served as Scholar in Residence at the JCC on the Palisades in New Jersey. In 1997, Berman became Director of Edah, a new organization devoted to the invigoration of modern Orthodox ideology and religious life. (Due to financial constraints, Edah was absorbed into the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah). He had contributed to the Encyclopedia Judaica and is the author of numerous articles which have been published in journals such as Tradition, Judaism, Journal of Jewish Studies, Dinei Yisrael, and many others.
He is married to Shellee Berman, they have four children and eight grandchildren.
- Our Staff, Edah website. Accessed August 19, 2009.
- YU ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF JEWISH STUDIES, YU website. Accessed January 22, 2014.
- ["An Orthodox Choice," San Jose Mercury News (CA) - September 30, 2000 http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=SJ&s_site=mercurynews&p_multi=SJ&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB715B960C2A09B&p_field_direct-0=document_id]
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