Ari’s love for Israel started as early as watching Rechov Sum Sum and Shalom Sesame. His passion for Israel only grew through his familial connections to Israel and through his Jewish education in Chicago. After completing a BS in Psychology from the University of Maryland, he studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem where he began his journey as a Jewish professional. Upon his return to the States, he studied at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in their Beit Midrash and then pursued an MPA-MA dual degree at New York University in nonprofit management and Hebrew and Judaic studies. Before joining The iCenter team in 2015, Ari worked as a Program Executive at UJA-Federation of New York in their Leadership Engagement Department.
Tell us about your name:
It’s only a half joke in Ari’s family that his name was inspired by the fictional character in Exodus by Leon Uris. There is a Berkowicz family tradition to insert the name of God within family names. Ari’s full name is Ariel (אריאל); his father’s name is Yechiel (יחיאל), his father’s name was Israel (ישראל), his father’s name was Nehemiah (נחמיה), and so on. Ari has carried on this tradition with his own children, Judah (יהודה) and Priya (פריה).
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