With a JD from New York Law School, Bernie Mermelstein serves as the chief executive officer of MZ Berger & Co. in Long Island City, New York. Aside from his professional pursuits, Bernie Mermelstein frequently donates resources to various charities and he is a huge supporter of Nefesh B’Nefesh.
Established in 2002, Nefesh B’Nefesh works with the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency of Israel to ease the process of Aliyah (translated to mean ascent or rise) by reducing obstacles that may be related to finances, profession, and/or logistics.
According to the Law of Return, Aliyah refers to the act of moving to Israel and becoming a citizen. Jews of varying statuses, denominations, and ages make Aliyah for various reasons. While some do so for their beliefs, others want to strengthen their identity; still others treat Aliyah as a way of expressing practical Zionism.
The Aliyah process starts with completing the application with an option to apply for financial help. It continues with submitting pertinent documents that would determine a person’s eligibility and his or her status in the Jewish Agency. Once an interview with the agency’s local representative is done, the applicant waits for the result of his or her application. When the agency approves, Nefesh B’Nefesh makes the confirmation of the services along with the financial aid, if applicable. The next steps include obtaining an Aliyah visa, which may take up to two weeks and is valid for six months and finally, flying to Israel.
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Since 1977, Bernie Mermelstein has served as CEO of MZ Berger & Co., a New York-based accessory business that carries a variety of products, including watches and clocks, home décor items, jewelry, and consumer electronics. Alongside his professional pursuits, Bernie Mermelstein supports the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Those who would like to support AIPAC in its efforts to strengthen the United States-Israel relationship can get involved with the organization in several ways. Supporters can make a one-time donation on the group’s website or pledge appreciated securities through a broker. AIPAC also offers a planned giving program for individuals who would like to make the organization part of their estate plan.
In addition to financial support, AIPAC welcomes those who would like to be personally involved in the group’s activities. AIPAC clubs offer supporters the opportunity to join the organization for pro-Israel events in Washington, DC, and other cities. Individuals can join one of six AIPAC clubs, with an annual commitment ranging from $1,800 to $100,000.
Other ways to get involved with AIPAC include attending one of the group’s local or national events. The committee’s largest event is the AIPAC Policy Conference, which takes place in Washington, DC, each March. The event gives attendees the opportunity to attend education sessions, hear from speakers, and meet face-to-face with members of Congress. The next AIPAC Policy Conference will take place March 4-6, 2018.
A graduate of New York University School of Law, Bernie Mermelstein has led MZ Berger & Co. as chief executive officer since 1975. Also involved in charitable giving, Bernie Mermelstein supports Nefesh B’Nefesh as a benefactor.
Nefesh B’Nefesh seeks to simplify the process of Aliyah, or the return of those who are Jewish to Israel. The organization strives to assist with the integration of Olim in Israeli culture and teach those who are part of the Diaspora about the importance of Israel to the Jewish community.
Nefesh B’Nefesh serves individuals of all ages and walks of life, from families and students to retirees and young professionals. The organization helps these individuals in three phases: pre-Aliyah planning, Aliyah flights and expedited processing, and post-Aliyah guidance, with the latter phase including monthly check-ins and Hebrew tutoring. Also offering employment assistance, Nefesh B’Nefesh helps with job searches and business coaching, in addition to providing support to those who wish to start their own businesses.