Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Brith Achim in Petersburg, VA, since August, 1993.
In 1983 he received a rabbinic ordination (semikhah) from the renowned Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi. He studied at Haverford College (BA, 1975), Gratz College (BHL & Teacher's Diploma, 1974), Pardes Institute, Hebrew University, and the University of Pennsylvania. He is married to Julia and has two children, Sarah and Rachel. He has been the mashgi’ach (kashrut supervisor) of the International ALEPH Kallah for 20 years and taught an Eco-Kosher training seminar accredited by the ALEPH Rabbinic Program. He has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Pennsylvania, U.S. Military Academy, Richmond’s Florence Melton Adult Mini-School Institute, and for over 40 years taught in Conservative and Reform religious schools, along with a stint as counselor at Camp Ramah in the Poconos. He has lectured at numerous schools, colleges, camps, and religious institutions, and has led many religious retreats, tours and workshops in the United States, Israel, and Europe.
The Rabbi is a part-time chaplain at the Beth Sholom Lifecare Community, an Auxiliary Jewish Chaplain at Fort Lee, and for many years visited Jews in local state and Federal prisons, as well as Central State Hospital and the Southside Virginia Training Center. In addition, he serves on the Boards of the Tri-City Jewish Community Fund, Richmond Rabbinic Association (Past Chair), Pathways (Past President), Virginia Holocaust Museum, Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, and the Weinstein Jewish Community Center (ex officio), and the Planning Committee of the ALEPH Kallah. He is a member of the Brith Achim Burial Society (Chevra Kaddisha), OHALAH: Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal (Past President), Richmond Council for Jewish Education (Past Chair), and other professional associations.
Rabbi Beck-Berman has served as Executive Secretary and Past President of the Petersburg Area Clergy Association, and as a member of the Tent of Abraham (a national interfaith project), Interfaith Committee of the Virginia Council of Churches, and other interfaith projects. He has also served on the Boards of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, The Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies, and A More Perfect Union.
The Rabbi spent over ten years as an active duty military chaplain and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve after 21 years of service. His assignments include: Command Chaplain, 80th Division (Institutional Training), Richmond, VA; Deputy Command Chaplain, 9th Theater Support Command, Fort Belvoir, VA; Command Chaplain, 300th Area Support Group, Fort Lee, VA; Staff Chaplain (IMA), 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), Fort Bragg, NC; Cadet Chaplain, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY; Deputy Command Chaplain, Southern European Task Force, Vicenza, Italy; Staff Chaplain, 2d Infantry Training Brigade, and Battalion Chaplain, 43d Engineer Battalion, Ft. Benning, GA. Chaplain Beck-Berman was selected the honor graduate of his Chaplain Officer Advance Course, Fort Monmouth, NJ. His military awards include the Legion of Merit Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 citations), and the Army Commendation Medal (2 citations).