Dan Berger, CEO of Berger Communities, joined the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Jewish Federation Real Estate (JFRE) group in March of 2019 in search of “collaboration with high-impact Jewish real estate leaders to support [his] community and promote professional growth.”
As the incoming JFRE Chair, Berger says he has found exactly that, crediting JFRE with motivating him to get more involved by seeing the significant positive impact that the group’s members have made both in the local Jewish community, in Israel and elsewhere around the world.
“This fusion of professional expertise and communal commitment is what makes JFRE so special, and I’m thrilled to contribute my part to this inspiring mission,” Berger noted, citing JFRE’s funded capital projects that support critical infrastructure needs.
Berger will assume his role as chair after the group’s annual Legends and Leaders event on Oct. 20 at the Kimmel Center. He will succeed Jonathan Morgan, president and founder of Morgan Properties JV.
We spoke with Berger to learn more about him, his vision for JFRE and what it means to him to support the Jewish community.
How does it feel to be the new chair of JFRE?
It feels humbling and exhilarating to step into this role, following the remarkable leadership of Jonathan Morgan. This position grants me a unique opportunity to steer an exceptional group of people — comprising some of the region’s most brilliant and influential figures in real estate — towards projects that not only elevate our industry but also enrich the Jewish community.
What do you hope to accomplish during your term as JFRE chair?
My vision for building the Jewish real estate community goes beyond networking and professional development; it leans into the richness of Jewish culture to create a genuine sense of community within the real estate arena. I will remain committed to JFRE’s foundational pillars of educational advancement, mentorship and philanthropy in order to further our collective knowledge base, pass down professional wisdom and cultural insights, and amplify our collective impact.
How has Immediate Past JFRE Chair Jonathan Morgan leadership style and advice guided you?
Jonathan Morgan’s advice was to ‘Lead with intention but listen with attention.’ He emphasized the importance of a visionary approach, setting ambitious yet attainable goals for JFRE and fostering a sense of responsibility and emotional connection between the executive committee and the projects we support.
JFRE’s signature event Legends and Leaders is around the corner. What are you most excited for and why should people attend?
I am absolutely thrilled about Legends and Leaders, which is a highly influential and impactful event in real estate education and networking. This year, we are going above and beyond by inducting industry icons Dean Adler, Leonard Klehr and Ira Lubert into our esteemed JFRE Hall of Fame. Their combined wisdom and track record in the industry along with their exceptional philanthropic contributions make them invaluable additions to our community of excellence.
Legends and Leaders is an opportunity to engage with the region’s most impactful visionaries and to partake in discussions that could very well shape the future of our local communities. It is where learning meets leading, and where leaders become legends.
Why should real estate professionals and related industry professionals become JFRE members?
JFRE operates at the intersection of real estate, philanthropy and Jewish culture, combining professional growth and social responsibility to offer a unique platform that you won’t find elsewhere. From a career standpoint, JFRE events are designed to keep members informed of emerging trends and market insights, equipping them with the tools to stay ahead in a competitive landscape. Your financial contribution to the JFRE Fund directly supports high-impact and critical community projects, ranging from food pantries to security enhancement in Jewish areas, from housing initiatives to facility upgrades for older adults in Greater Philadelphia and Israel.
Why do you give to the Jewish Federation?
I truly believe that my legacy is intricately tied to the positive impact I can create. The Jewish Federation is a conduit for this impact, channeling resources into programs and services that make a difference. Each contribution becomes a building block in creating a more supportive, resilient and enriched community.
What is something people may not know about you?
I faced the obstacles of dyslexia as a child — a condition often labeled as a learning ‘disability.’ I now consider it a blessing in disguise as it showed me the value of perseverance, resilience and hard work. Even more importantly, it opened my eyes to what empathy means, helping me understand the hidden struggles that others may be going through. These experiences are integral to who I am today, influencing not just my personal ambitions but also my relationships. This mindset influences my leadership at Berger Communities and at JFRE, where I am committed to growing and improving my community while helping those who need it most.
JEWISH FEDERATION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Jonathan Morgan, Chair
President and Founder, Morgan Properties JV
Dan Berger, Incoming Chair
President, Berger Communities
Jeremy B. Fogel
Principal, Ironwood Property Group
President and CEO, Keystone Property Group
President, Goodman Properties
Bradley J. Korman
Co-Chief Executive Officer, Korman Communities
Bradley A. Krouse
Chairman, Real Estate Department,
Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg
Matt Pestronk, Immediate Past Chair
President, Post Brothers Apartments
President, BET Investments
Jessica Morgan, Young JFRE Chair
Vice President, Lubert-Adler Partners, L.P.
Managing Partner, Gramercy Park Capital
Senior Vice President, Commercial Real Estate WSFS Bank
Founder and Managing Partner, MMPartners
Senior Vice President, CBRE | Capital Markets
Robert A. Zuritsky
President, Parkway Corporation