Jewish 100, 2015: Sara Berman – Philanthropy
Chair of the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School
Sara Berman, chair of the growing Hebrew Language Academy Charter School network, also heads the board of trustees of both the Harlem and the Brooklyn Hebrew charter schools.
The innovative charter schools, the first two of the network, offer Hebrew-language immersion, smaller class sizes than most public schools and two teachers per classroom rather than one, said Berman, the daughter of philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, who is also involved with the Hebrew-language charter school effort.
Both schools stand out as islands of integration in the New York City public school system, which a UCLA study identified two years ago as one of the most racially and economically divided in the country.
“There is something so exciting about walking into our schools and seeing this diverse group of kids together, making life together in this environment,” Berman has said. “They’re learning this is what America is — America is a melting pot, it’s a diverse country … This is what a public school can and should be.”