Andrew R. Berger Inducted as Chair of the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

From leftIrwin Engelman, Andrew R. Berger, and Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D.

Andrew R. Berger, a prominent civic and communal leader of Cincinnati, Ohio, was inducted as the Chair of the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) at its meeting in Cincinnati on June 9, 2014.  A member of HUC-JIR’s Board of Governors since 2008, Berger serves as a member of its Executive Committee and Governance Committee, and has served on the Presidential Search Committee and as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and New Way Forward Task Force. He succeeds Irwin Engelman as the head of HUC-JIR’s Board as of July 1, 2014.    

HUC-JIR’s 4000 active alumni serve as rabbis, cantors, educators, nonprofit professionals, and scholars in congregations, academic institutions, social service agencies, cultural institutions, military and healthcare chaplaincy, youth summer camping, and Israel programs throughout North America, Israel, and around the world.

“Andrew Berger is a passionate advocate for Reform Judaism and staunch supporter of our sacred mission,” stated Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., HUC-JIR President. “We are blessed to have his wisdom and guidance, as we chart the next chapter in HUC-JIR’s history as a preeminent global center of advanced Jewish studies and leadership development.”

“It is a great honor and a privilege to serve as the next Chair of HUC-JIR,” said Berger.  “I truly believe HUC-JIR is one of the most important institutions in the Jewish world.  Reform and Liberal Judaism and Jewish communities cannot thrive in North America, Israel and throughout the world without inspiring, knowledgeable and capable leaders.  I am deeply committed to our mission, to create these leaders and to bring them to the Jewish world; what could be more important?”

Andrew Berger played a prominent role at Rabbi Panken’s Presidential Inauguration at Plum Street Temple  on June 8, when he participated in the Torah reading with Rabbi Panken and Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR Chancellor. 

Berger is a partner of the law firm Katz Teller in Cincinnati, whose practice is primarily concentrated in corporate, health care, and finance law, handling a variety of matters including mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, commercial financing transactions, business organization and succession planning, and executive employment agreements. He joined Katz Teller in 1980, became a partner in 1984, and is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors, and Opinion and Professional Responsibility Committees. He was previously  an Associate at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, Cincinnati, Ohio (1978 to 1980). He has been listed in Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America and recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer by Law & Politics Media, Inc. A prominent leader of the Cincinnati community, Berger most recently served as President of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati until May 2014.  He joined the Board of Trustees of the  Federation  in 2007 and became President in 2012. He formerly chaired its Cincinnati 2020 Strategic Planning Team,  Campaign Team, and Lawyers Division.  He  also served as President  of the Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati from 2005 to 2007, having joined its Board of Trustees in 1997. He formerly chaired its Strategic Planning Committee and Outreach Committee.  He continues to play guitar and sing with Shir Chadash, the Wise Temple Band. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Hillel Jewish Student Center in Cincinnati from 1996 to 1997. 

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Nebraska in 1975 with a B.A. in Economics and earned his J.D., cum laude, from Cornell University School of Law in 1978. He and his wife Linda are the parents of Laura, Daniel, Timothy, Julia and Hannah.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu