March 20, 2024

Obituaries 3/20/2024

Richard (Dick) Bergman

Richard (Dick) Bergman died peacefully on February 17 in Princeton, New Jersey. It was very important to him to reach his 90th birthday on January 18, 2024. He was delighted to receive over 50 cards, many with very personal statements about how Dick influenced the sender’s life. There were also emails and drawings of dinosaurs, stars, and rainbows by grand-nieces and nephews. He loved those because he remembered working with daughters, nieces, and nephews to stargaze and build rockets and robots.

Born January 18, 1934 to Joseph and Clara Menchel Bergman, Dick grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and Yeadon, Pennsylvania. In 1951, he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned first a Bachelor and then a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering. MIT became a lifelong constant, and he served many roles for the institution, including as a member of visiting committees, on the Board of the Alumnae Association, as a local interviewer for prospective students, and as Secretary of the Class of ’55, during which time he wrote (and often tactfully edited) dozens of Class Notes columns celebrating the lives of his peers. He and Vicky attended every fifth year reunion, starting with the 25th and ending with his 60th.

After graduation, Dick worked first for Esso, then took an opportunity at startup Princeton Chemical Research, where he was Director of Engineering and Development. Based on work he did at these companies, he held a number of U.S. and foreign patents. When an opportunity to start a business with a friend arose, he took the chance and they created Systemedics, Inc., in 1967 which offered the then-new computerized technology of providing information processing for medical offices. They built an office building at Princeton Air Park. After watching the planes come and go, Dick took flying lessons and enjoyed taking his daughters on flights to the Jersey shore.

Systemedics also worked with innovative physicians to develop and provide the Problem Oriented Medical Record to physician’s offices. Systemedics was ultimately bought by Equifax, while Dick was on assignment in Washington, D.C., as the Executive Director of President Jimmy Carter’s Interagency Taskforce on Workplace Safety and Health.

Corporate life wasn’t his passion, so he politely declined an offer from Equifax to join their executive ranks. He and Vicky then created Savant Associates, an environmental safety and health policy consulting service. They also incorporated Project Masters, which provided POMR forms for doctors’ offices, and later offered medical, technical, and scientific photos used in textbooks, reference works, and ads. They retired from work life in 2020.

As a longtime resident of Princeton, Dick was known for his lively conversation, curiosity, excellent dinners, and wise — often ahead of his time — mentorship and advice. He was deeply involved in his community, including the MIT Club of Princeton which he served for two years as President, the Princeton Community Democratic Organization, Hands Across America, the Princeton Summer Chamber Concerts, and the Old Guard.

He also served as President of The Jewish Center from 1994 to 1996, and was one of four founders and long-term President of Community Without Walls (CWW). CWW was formed to bring together friends and neighbors to support each other to age in place, their own homes, or other residential locations. He brought his keen insight and sense of equality to all roles.

He and Vicky had season tickets for many decades to McCarter’s Music Series, and also regularly enjoyed special programs, theater, and dance there. They supported the library and the Institute for Advanced Studies, attending many events at both.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his daughter Susan Hackett. He is survived and deeply missed by his wife, Victoria Bergman, who was his partner in all things; his daughter Deborah Bergman; his brother Donald Bergman and wife Susan Bergman; his grandchildren, Cheryl Hackett and Jennifer Hackett and her spouse Ash Moore; seven siblings-in-law and their spouses (thanks to Vicky’s large family); many grandnieces and nephews in six States; and beloved friends, neighbors, and caregivers.

Memorial contributions can be made to The Jewish Center, Princeton, or Planned Parenthood.


Rabbi Howard Hersch

Rabbi Howard Hersch, 86, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Brothers of Israel in Newtown, PA, and formerly Trenton, NJ, passed away on March 14, 2024.

Over 60 years ago, Rabbi Howard Hersch was elected Rabbi of a small congregation in Trenton, New Jersey, that had recently voted to become Conservative. Working together with an outstanding group of leaders they built a vibrant spiritual home for all, soon to be known as Congregation Brothers of Israel.

In addition to being ordained from the Academy for Jewish Religion, Rabbi Hersch returned to the Jewish Theological Seminary and received his Master’s in Hebrew Literature, Rabbinic Ordination, and Doctor of Divinity.

During the time of radical changes in Jewish life, Rabbi was most proud of being part of a synagogue that was forward-looking, accepting of change, and building for the future, without division or losing members.

In Rabbi Hersch’s years of service, he received numerous awards and honors for his work on behalf of the Jewish community, here and abroad. He was honored by the State of Israel, The National Board of Jewish Federation, and the Recipient of The Golden Shofar Award by Israel Bonds. Rabbi Hersch served on Rabbinical Boards and other prestigious bodies for the betterment of Jewish Life and worthwhile humanitarian causes. He has been honored by several Congressional resolutions and Presidential commendations, thanking him for years of service.

Rabbi Hersch’s greatest joy was his wonderful family. He is survived by his beloved wife Joan, all of his cherished children, Avra and Elie Gordis, Seth and Renee Hersch, Jonathan and Julie Hersch, Elicia Brand and David Leudemann, and Marni Brand and Mike Berg. The lights of his life, his spectacular grandchildren, Tamar, Ben and Amy, Rebecca and Ezra, Arielle, Shira, Noah, Carter, Parker, Isla, Kye, and Joss.

He is also survived by his sister and brother-in law, Judy and Marvin Kantor, as well as nieces, nephews, and many cousins. Lastly, the many members of his congregation, who were his family as well.

Funeral services were March 17 at Congregation Brothers of Israel in Newtown, PA, with burial at Congregation Brothers of Israel Cemetery in Hamilton, NJ.

Shiva will be observed through Thursday (March 21) at the home of Joan Hersch from 5 to 7 p.m. with minyan at 7 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to Congregation Brothers of Israel (

Funeral arrangements are by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel. For condolences please visit


Helen C. Perone

Helen C. Perone (Sandy), 93, passed away peacefully at her home in Skillman, NJ, while surrounded by her family on March 16, 2024.

Helen was born in Princeton, NJ, in 1931, and graduated from Princeton High School.

Helen was married to her late husband Albert (Slick) Perone for 51 loving years.

She is survived by her four children: Steven M. Perone and Jill Perone of Skillman, Donna L. DePace of Hamilton, David A. Perone and Kelly Perone of Hopewell, and Thomas R. Perone and Angela Perone of Belle Mead.

Helen also leaves behind nine grandchildren: Kevin, Steve, Krista, Jenna, Justin, Zachary, Nicholas, Alexander, Damien, and four great-grandchildren Ben, Owen, Olivia, and Lily Mae. All of those she loved and touched deeply.

Helen was a proud resident of Montgomery where she lived and raised her family for over 50 years.

She was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and was loved by all that knew her.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 22, 2024, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 216 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ. Burial will follow in Princeton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior Project.

Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.