Debbie and Michael’s first date in 1996 included sushi, coffee and a Steely Dan concert. Fast forward to today and they have three children, Samantha is a freshman at Skidmore College, Jeremy is senior at Cranbrook and Victor is a freshman at Cranbrook. All three children are involved in sports and in the arts.
Debbie was born in Denver to Ellie & Dr. Tom (z”l) Slovis. She is the sister of Mike Slovis, Lisa Slovis, and Max Slovis. Debbie graduated from Indiana University, majoring in psychology and business. Debbie’s career focused on pension and benefit plans for non-profits. Her hobbies include skiing, traveling, playing tennis, and hiking; she loves reading historical fiction.
Michael was born in Michigan to Phyllis & Stan Berger. He is the brother of Laurie Bounds and Steven Berger. Michael obtained his law degree from Boston University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan. Michael works in the family real estate business specializing in ownership of self-storage, apartments and commercial and residential construction with Steven and Laurie and the continued mentorship of Stanley and Phyllis. He has led efforts in new acquisitions, refinancing, leasing, legal matters and property management for Berger Realty Group and First Choice Building and Maintenance LLC, its construction division. Previously, he was an attorney at Rudnick & Wolfe in Chicago.
He attended the Cranbrook School for college preparatory education, where he has served as President of its Alumni Association, and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees as Chair of its Finance Committee. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Henry Ford Hospital and Health Network and of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital as well as the Henry Ford Health System Foundation Board. He is a member of Entrepreneurs Organization and serves on the Board of Governors of the United Jewish Foundation of Metropolitan Detroit and The Jewish Fund. He also serves on the Board of Frankel Jewish Academy and, of course, the JCC!
Following law school, Michael joined a wine club and thus began a life-long passion for collecting and educating others about wine. Michael is an avid University of Michigan fan. He likes to ski and take adventure travel excursions with Debbie and the kids.
The couple supports and volunteers for the Detroit Zoo, National Council of Jewish Women, and their efforts go beyond the borders of the United States. Recently, Debbie traveled to Peru in order to provide equipment to a remote village. Debbie, Michael and the extended Berger family were instrumental in raising funds needed to establish, construct (in fact Steven managed the construction) and maintain the North Star Reach Camp in Pinckney, a camp for children suffering from serious health challenges.
Their dedication and support for the JCC is unwavering. Michael has spent countless hours devoted to ensuring that the programming and facilities of the JCC continue to remain a vital and relevant “Center” of the Detroit Jewish Community!
As the Larry D. Sills Memorial JCC Golf Classic celebrates its 26th anniversary,
we look back to celebrate the support of our past honorees:
Sheri and David Jaffa
The Eisenshtadt Family
Dr. Robert Matthews
Terry & Martin Hollander
Beverly & Merton Segal
Brian D. Siegel
Douglas & Barbara Bloom.