Midrasha in Berkeley

east bay jewish community high school

1301 Oxford Street Berkeley, CA 94709
P. 510.843.4667 F. 510.848.2707


Welcome to Midrasha

Rabbi Jennifer Flam

Midrasha in Berkeley engages Jewish teens in exploring their identity as Jews through social, educational, and experiential programming. Through weekly classes, tri-annual retreats, and social action projects, East Bay teens in grades 8 through 12 strengthen their ties with their heritage and their community.

Midrasha in Berkeley is overjoyed to announce that Rabbi Jennifer Flam will be its next Executive Director!

Rabbi Flam was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and has a Master of Arts in Education from the Fingerhut School of Education from the American Jewish University. She is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and Jewish Educators Assembly.  Rabbi Flam holds a Jewish Spiritual Directors Certificate from the Yedidya Center for Jewish Spiritual Direction, and a Certificate from the Rabbinic Management Institute at the American Jewish University.  She is a gifted and innovative Jewish educator and leader.  She has experience as a pulpit Rabbi, pastoral guide and Jewish spiritual director.  Since 2008, Rabbi Flam has served as the Director of Congregational Learning at Congregation B’nai Shalom in Walnut Creek, where she worked in close collaboration with Contra Costa Midrasha.

She currently lives in the East Bay with her husband Jason who works in media and marketing and their three year old twins, Eli and Mia.

Rabbi Flam will begin working with Diane Bernbaum over the next couple of months to transition to the position of Executive Director.  Please join me in extending her a warm B’rucha HaBa’ah, welcome to Midrasha in Berkeley!  

Yossi Fendel
President, Board of Directors for Midrasha in Berkeley
From Rabbi Jennifer Flam:
With a keen interest in developing safe and exciting spaces for teens to explore and develop their identities, I am excited to join the Berkeley Midrasha family. Together we will continue to build and strengthen the vibrant, innovative, supportive, and pluralistic teen experience known as Berkeley Midrasha.  I very much look forward to meeting the entire Midrasha community in the coming months!

Wishing you a Passover filled with meaning and joy!

Rabbi Jennifer Flam

From Diane Bernbaum:
I am so thrilled to know that Rabbi Jennifer Flam will be the next Executive Director of Midrasha.  I have known her for a long time and know that she has the right skill-set to lovingly and competently shepherd Midrasha on to its future.  Kol HaKavod, congratulations and gratitude go to the Midrasha Board and the Executive Search Committee for their hours  of thoughtful work to arrive at such a great selection for our next  Executive Director.

I cannot begin to tell the greater Midrasha community how much I have enjoyed my 33 years of working here.  We live in an innovative pluralistic community that has allowed Midrasha to thrive and to be a beacon to other community high schools around the country.  I know that under Rabbi Flam’s leadership Midrasha will go from strength to strength.  I am so appreciative of the entire Midrasha community for the support, honor and love you have shown me in my time of working here and I look forward to continuing to be in touch in the next few months when I am still at Midrasha and of course, for years into the future.

Chag Pesach Sameach,



2014-2015 Midrasha Pre-Registration

Midra-shabang Photo Gallery

Midra-shabang Tribute Video to Diane Bernbaum

Midrasha 2013-2014 Catalogue

2013-2014 Registration Forms

All retreat information (including RSVP links) found here

Midrasha Art Work

Midrasha in the J. Weekly

Summer Opportunities for Jewish Teens

2013 Graduation Speeches

Midrasha Blog It! class:  Jewcedaboutwriting

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What people say about Midrasha in Berkeley

Though I thought the sole purpose of Midrasha was to teach me about Judaism, I learned much more about myself.
Every sleepy Sunday morning, I felt like I experienced a new epiphany about myself and the way the world works.
            Sonya Malamut
, Midrasha Class of 2013

When I think of a safe space, one of the places I think of is Midrasha.
            Savyon Sordean, Midrasha Class of 2013

Our children have been on many group retreats with different organizations, and have been struck by the difference in culture and attitude towards inclusivity and tolerance of physically and mentally challenged peers. At many organizations, the teens are given little guidance about expected behavior in these situations, and there is often a culture of cruelty and humiliation that excludes all but the most powerful from the popular circles. At Midrasha there is a palpable curriculum of seminars and classroom ethics discussions which promote a celebration of tolerance and community. In fact, my children have met some of their best friends at Midrasha while working together to help peers with physical and mental challenges.
         Michele Herman, Parent, Class of '12,'13,'15,'16

This incredible program has developed and shaped my Jewish identity in huge ways.  At Midrasha, I have taken classes that connect Judaism to relationships, cooking, yoga and even Harry Potter.  From each discussion I have every Sunday, I learn a little more about myself as a Jew and as a part of my Jewish community.
            Savyon Sordean
, Midrasha Class of 2013

Midrasha was a perfect place to continue to build a strong Jewish community around me and to learn Jewish values.  Not only was I able to stay in touch with my friends, but I met lots of new people from the other Midrashot and feel close to them too.  I have a great Jewish community and I also learned about how to break down stereotypes and treat everyone with respect.  
            Sam Roditti , Midrasha Class of 2013

Midrasha has been a way to grown my identity, keep in touch with old friends and make new ones at the same time.  I can proudly say that slogan on the Midrasha cups is true:  “worth the schlep from anywhere.”
            Yonah Radousky, Midrasha Class of 2013

I will be able to bring the leadership, critical thinking, listening and talking skills that I’ve learned here, along with the identity that Midrasha has helped me build, to anything I do in the future.
            Harry Pollack
, Midrasha Class of 2013

I learned so many things from my Midrasha teacher, Day, things I think about on a daily basis, things that have helped me to be a better human being.  I learned how to be flexible and caring and kind.  I learned how to be thoughtful and resourceful and inventive.
            Orionne Malool, Midrasha Class of 2013

My Midrasha teacher David Henkinis a friend and a mentor, teaching not only the words of the Torah but modeling the ethics of the Torah every day in the way he treated students as his equals and the way he showed us to respect each other’s diverse opinions.
      Joshua Herman
, Midrasha Class of 2013

Midrasha is a wonderful opportunity for teens to learn and build themselves into independent, critically thinking and well-rounded people with a solid sense of self, ready to take on the future.
            Noah Amme, Midrasha Class of 2013

My teenagers are so lucky to have Midrasha as the place they will look back on when they think about the good times associated with being a teenager. It's got it all--friends, intellectual challenge, humor, values--a safe place to grow up into a complex, interesting, authentic mensch.
        Karen Bovarnick, Parent, Class of 2008 and 2011
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