My name is Brian Berman. I am 26 years old and live in Los Angeles, CA, with my wife Katie. By day, I am an estate planning lawyer in Century City. By night, I develop web applications. I moved to Los Angeles for law school, and I graduated from the UCLA School of Law. I am originally from West Bloomfield, MI, just outside Detroit. I attended Detroit Country Day School before heading off to Washington University in St. Louis, where I received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, Spanish Language and Literature, and Economics. I have also extensively studied Jewish history and the Middle East conflict.
I have been studying the Spanish language since childhood, and through college coursework focused on medieval Spanish literature as well as the Inquisition. I also studied abroad at Universidad Carlos Tercero in Madrid, Spain. In addition to my Spanish studies, I also learned Hebrew. During my sophomore year, Devin Naar, a fellow Alpha Epsilon Pi brother, approached me with some mysterious documents that seemed to be some sort of Hebrew script. Through some inquiry and research, we learned that it was in fact a handwritten letter in Ladino written in the archaic Solitreo script. Over the course of the year, Devin and I taught ourselves to read and write in Solitreo while attempting to hone our Ladino language skills.
Upon graduating from Washington University, I moved to Washington, DC for a year and continued running the technical operations of the MovieDaze Media Group, Inc., an internet conglomerate for whom I have worked the last 6 years. Over the course of the year I volunteered at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Under the direction of Dr. Avinoam Patt and Dr. Jurgen Matthaus, I helped make sense of the Solitreo documents the museum had acquired from the Osobyi Archives in Moscow. I had the honor and privilege of working closely with Isaac Nehama, a Ladino-speaker and fellow volunteer, who was a great mentor and taught me so much. I also had the opportunity of assisting him to translate the book Monastir Sin Djudios, by Jamila-Andjela Kolonomos, from Ladino to English.
I started learning to design and program websites when I was about 14 and have continued to advance my skills over the years, learning new programming languages and their applications. I like to explore the possibilities of the Internet and try to integrate it into every aspect of life. I started thinking about how the Ladino language, and the use of Solitreo in particular, could be integrated with the Internet-- the ultimate platform of communication. I wanted to create a tool that would help to preserve and promote the endangered Ladino language. For almost a year now, I have spent countless hours developing LadinoType™. The basis of LadinoType™ is a transliteration system that allows you to type Ladino in roman characters and convert it to various Hebrew scripts, including Solitreo, Rashi, and Meruba. Soon LadinoType™ will incorporate a messaging system that allows users to email each other in Solitreo, native support for a Solitreo computer font that I am developing, as well as a host of other features. For more information about LadinoType™, please see the section About LadinoType™.
LadinoType™ has been a very rewarding project that I hope people use and enjoy. I have a lot of plans for improvements and new features. Developing this site has been quite costly (especially for a student), so if you would like to support my efforts please consider making a donation by clicking on the donation button on the right menu. Your support is greatly appreciated!
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