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

All retreat information (including RSVP links) found here

Midrasha Art Work

Midrasha in the J. Weekly

Summer Opportunities for Jewish Teens

2014 Graduation Speeches

Midrasha Blog It! class:  Jewcedaboutwriting

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What people say about Midrasha in Berkeley 

Midrasha is a Jewish connection-creator, especially on Midrasha retreats where teens from all of the Midrashot come together to celebrate Shabbat and being Jewish....I can always count on Midrasha to put my mind at ease.....Midrasha provides excellent supportive and enthusiastism.
            Blythe Hyman

I love the retreats and consider them to be some of the highlights of my year.  On the retreats I could completely let go of all stress that I had at home and be present in the moment with my friends and my spirituality.
            Adam Johnson

Midrasha has challenged my views on topics and situations that I would have never thought to be so complex, which has made me into a more open and critical thinker as well as a passionate believer.....These people, this community has taught me so much and has given me a place to explore Judaism, my Jewish community and my daily life.
            Casey Lapidus
Through the chaos of middle school graduation and trying to find my path in high school, Midrasha has always been there.  It provides me with a support group, friends who share many of the same struggles that I endure.  It is a place where I can discuss my Jewish identity and work through situations I encounter growing up as a Jew in the Bay Area....Midrasha has helped me form my Jewish values....Midrasha has helped me stay up to date with issues concerning Jews around the world and revealed connections between my everyday life and Judaism that I never would have imagined....On retreats, coming together with hundreds of like-minded teens and discussing contemporary Jewish issues was truly unforgettable....Midrasha has been the rock in my Jewish world that kept me grounded in my faith and proud to be Jewish.
            Jacob Maler

Going to retreats allowed me to escape the real world for a few days and to focus on the relationships with those around me and the relationship I have with myself......Midrasha classes allowed me to explore different parts of my everyday life and how they connect with Judaism.  Getting to know other students and their perspectives has taught me to expand my ideas and welcome in new ones.
            Emma Pines-Schwartz

Midrasha allowed me to maintain a strong group of friends that I had built growing up in a Jewish community.  It introduced me to teachers who pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to take classes on subjects that intrigued me, and that were not available to me in my secular education....When you come to classes every week ready to learn, willing to try new things, open to the idea of translating those things to your own life, Midrasha has the ability to change your high school experience in incredible ways.
            Maya Sherne

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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