Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation Records

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Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation records

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation record group held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Records of philanthropic organization with a focus on supporting Jewish and Detroit-area causes. Also includes the personal papers of founders Mandell "Bill" Berman and his wife Madaleine Berman. Contains records, meeting information, grant recipient files, correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs and digital files.

The Mandell and Madaleine Berman Foundation was founded in Michigan in 1994. The primary goal of the foundation is providing financial support for the research and study of the Jewish community in the United States. One of the primary initiatives of the foundation is supporting the Mandell L. Berman Institute North American Jewish Data Bank, a repository of data and population studies about the Jewish community. The foundation also funds positions for Jewish scholars, supports Hillel chapters across the country and issues grants to other organizations in the United States and Israel. In addition to the foundation’s primary focus on Jewish causes and organizations, it has also supported secular causes in the Detroit area including the Humane Society, the Berman Center for Performing Arts and the Berman Foundation scholarships at Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University.

Mandell “Bill” Berman was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1917. He earned degrees from Harvard College (1940) and Harvard Business School (1942) and served as a naval officer in World War II. Following the war, he embarked on an extremely successful career as a real estate developer for the Bert L. Smokler company, founded by Berman and his brother-in-law. Berman was heavily involved in the Jewish community in the Detroit area and in national leadership positions including serving as president of the Council of Jewish Federations from 1987 to 1990. Berman passed away in Longboat Key, Florida in 2016 at the age of 99.

Madaleine Berman was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1917. She earned degrees from Northwestern University and Wayne State University. Madaleine Berman served on the President’s Committee for the Arts under President Bill Clinton and President Barak Obama. She also served on the Michigan Council of the Arts from 1981 to 1990 and established the Berman Center for Performing Arts at The Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan in West Bloomfield, Michigan in 2011. Berman has also supported the Detroit Zoological Institute, establishing the Madaleine Berman Academy for Humane Education and the Michigan Humane Society.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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