With a Heavy Heart: A Tribute to Philip Berg

I can’t quite remember what Philip Berg did at Jerusalem University College. It’s more a matter of what didn’t he do. While he was the campus manager, everyone will remember him as so much more than that. I remember him as a quiet, humble man who loved and served people. His home was always open to the students, had a big heart for his many children, and was devoted to his wife.

While in Jerusalem in the Fall of 2000 when the latest intifada started, there was a lot of fear among the students. A bomb went off down the road, gun fire could be heard at night, and the one guy that many of us felt drawn to was Phil. He loved the people (Arab and Jew) he loved the land, he loved his family, and he loved his Lord and Savior. I will be forever grateful for the investment that he made in all of us.

After serving as the campus manager at JUC, Philip and his family began serving with Shevet Achim, an organization that performs live-saving surgeries on children from Arab countries. It was in this service that his heart failed on him.

Phil leaves behind a wife and five young children. They worked to save the lives of children without accepting a formal salary or health care. If you would like to support the Berg family, designate a gift for them at secure.shevet.org/.

Other Blogs with tributes to Phil: Todd’s Thoughts, Pardon the Interruption,

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From JUC’s Web Page
January 16, 2006: We are saddened to note the sudden passing of Philip Berg, a loving and caring husband, father and friend of the JUC community. Phil succumbed instantly to a heart attack at his home here in Jerusalem early Monday morning, January 16. Phil received his M.A. from JUC in 1996 and served tirelessly and selflessly as campus manager for many years. He met and married his lovely wife Martha while at JUC. They have five young children, Asher, Adam, Nathan, Sara and Anna, ranging in age from 7 years to 3 months. For the last few years, Phil has been working for Shevet Achim, a humanitarian organization which brings infants and children from Iraq and the Palestinian Territories in need of life-saving heart surgery to Israel to receive medical care at the region’s finest hospitals. Phil’s dedication has been instrumental in saving lives. Phil will be buried later this week in Jerusalem; specific arrangements are currently pending. Please remember Martha and their children in your prayers. May his memory be for a blessing.
Link: From JUC News


From the Shevet Achim Web site where Philip last worked:


Philip Berg, director of the Shevet Achim Jerusalem office, went to his reward early this morning after feeding his children breakfast.

Philip didn’t like to speak in platitudes, but rather lived out his faith in a deeply practical way. He married Martha relatively late in life, and they set about raising a young family. Their fifth child, Anna, was just born in August.

Philip had a history of heart trouble, and told my son Josh in November that he knew another heart attack would be his last. Despite this, Philip and Martha worked as volunteers for the past three and a half years to help rescue children whose own hearts were weak. They received no salary, and even paid for their own health insurance.

Philip’s faith was not in vain; faith not only in the resurrection, which draws near, but also that our Father in heaven knows our needs in this life and will care for us as we seek first his kingdom. Not only Philip is now in the Lord’s hands, but also Martha, Asher, Adam, Nathan, Sarah, and Anna.

I know you will join in praying for their comfort when you receive this message. I also believe God will use us to help with the family’s needs, both the immediate burial costs and looking ahead to the future. Gifts may be sent through our website https://secure.shevet.org or to one of the addresses below; please specify that they are for the Berg family. You may also write to Martha and the children directly at the Jerusalem address below.

Not mourning as those who have no hope,

Jonathan Miles, Int’l Coordinator
Shevet Achim

POB 32296
Jerusalem 91000; ISRAEL