New Upper School Principal Announced

Dear Berman Community,

Today is an exciting day for the Berman Hebrew Academy community. I am thrilled to announce that Mrs. Malka Popper will serve as the next principal for Berman’s Upper School beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. I am confident that Mrs. Popper is the educational leader we need as we grow the Upper School at Berman Hebrew Academy into a national beacon in the field of Jewish day school education.

Mrs. Popper emerged as the clear choice for our Upper School because of her demonstrated educational leadership, expertise, and experience. During her six years as Assistant Head of School at Northwest Yeshiva High School in Seattle, she created a culture of professional growth within the faculty and administration, restructured the scope and sequence of course offerings for the entire high school, and created a dynamic Judaic studies curriculum that combined 21st century learning with spiritual engagement.   

I am grateful to all of you for your feedback on the search process and on the candidates. Our search consultants, Atid Services, and I reviewed the individual survey responses one at a time. They were full of high-quality input that I used in the making of this decision. Please join me, as well, in thanking the Search Advisory Committee members for their commitment to Berman and dedication to the search process.

Over the spring semester, Mrs. Popper will be visiting Berman’s campus periodically as part of a structured transition process to meet with the senior administrative team, faculty, parents, and students. We will offer numerous opportunities for the community to meet her and begin to get to know her.

It is our goal that Mrs. Popper will start on July 1 fully prepared to move forward with the key initiatives already underway at Berman. Additionally, we will be prioritizing initiatives for next year that will directly address key pieces of feedback that we collected throughout the interview process from our various stakeholders.

We remain extremely grateful to Rabbi Shimmy Trencher for his service as Interim Principal during this transitional year and look forward to a strong remainder of the school year. We will continue to build on the valuable programs that Rabbi Trencher has introduced to our Upper School.

Please extend your own warm welcome as Mrs. Popper and her family prepare to join the community. Her husband, Danny, is a principal at Microsoft who is excited to return to the east coast. Their children, Ami and Shira, are eager to meet their peers at Berman in next year’s 2nd grade and kindergarten respectively.

Thank you for your continued support during this exciting time. Please contact me with any questions you may have.


Rabbi Dr. Yossi Kastan

Head of School

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