We are saddened to hear of the recent passing of community member and beloved friend, Dr. Stephen Berman. Steve was a valued member of the JCC family, and a distinguished figure in his field of pediatric medicine. Having been President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as holding several professorships at institutions such as CU School of Medicine and Colorado School of Public Health, Steve also acted as special advisor to organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). His work at Children’s Hospital Colorado is the stuff of legends; “let’s ask Steve” became a common phrase amongst doctors and administration alike, because of his insight and expertise in the realm of patient care. Dr. Berman’s impact on pediatric care has been felt worldwide, and his expertise and dedication will be sorely missed.
The memoriam of such an extraordinary individual deserves great care – and so we give you the words of Paula Herzmark, JCC board member and dear friend to the Berman family.
“Steve Berman cared deeply about community. He made untold contributions to healthcare and children’s health in particular. He was a tremendous supporter of children’s education, the Jewish community, and our JCC in particular. He and his wife, Elaine Gantz Berman, both served on the board of the J – Elaine co-chairing the board with Bob Loup, and then served a term as chair on her own. Steve was unfailingly supportive of her throughout this venture and participated fully in all the activities associated with her chairing the board. Some years later, Steve joined the board himself. His wisdom, experience, and willingness to ‘roll up his sleeves and get to work’ ensured that his board service was extremely productive and benefitted the J immensely.
As a teenager, Steve participated in the Maccabi Games in Israel along with his two brothers. They were all on the basketball team representing Israel. They did not prevail in their game against the USA but that experience gave him an abiding love for the games. He has been an enthusiastic supporter of the JCC’s Maccabi Games® ever since. He and Elaine continue to provide crucial financial support for future games here in Denver and throughout the country.
If anyone could be described as indispensable, it would be Steve Berman; a courageous advocate, physician, civic leader, and friend. May his memory be for a blessing.”
Aside from his role as Dr. Berman, Steve was a dedicated father to two sons and steadfast partner to Elaine Berman, retired JCC Board Chair. He nurtured an adventurous spirit, and was an unwavering mentor to countless young doctors and caregivers.
Before his passing, Steve and Elaine made a significant and sustaining gift to the JCC, which will ensure the future of our JCC Maccabi Games for many years to come. This gift is yet another of many acts of service that the Bermans made on behalf of children and our community’s young people. The lasting effects of this financial support will be felt by many.
The JCC family feels immeasurable gratitude for Steve’s dedication to this organization, and we extend our deepest condolences to the Berman family. We invite you to read his full obituary here.