Alex Berezin, 33, studied information technology, but now he co-owns medical facilities.
Berezin was born in Ukraine and came to the United States when he was 5 years old. He lives in Pikesville, where he has started multiple businesses. One of his businesses, which offers medical and therapy services, serves aging populations in a health care facility. He also started Complete Home Care, which provides home care services. With simple acts aimed at reducing seniors’ stress, he said, he can not only improve his clients’ lives, but extend them.
Although the physical facility is still closed, Berezin has not let go of a single employee and they have not stopped reaching out to clients to make sure they’re doing OK. They’ve also continued to deliver food and offer Zoom concerts and other online opportunities.
Berezin is a congregant of ARIEL Jewish Center, a Chabad house for the Russian-speaking community. He is active with The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, where he works with CHAI: Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc., Jewish Community Services, the Edward A. Myerberg Center and IMPACT.
In what he calls his secret second life, Berezin is also a singer and performer.
Tell us about your volunteer work.
I’ve volunteered through JVC as well as being a board member of CHAI and Myerberg. I serve on committees with JCS.
I went to Loyola, where you had to volunteer or study abroad. So I took advantage of a number of service projects there with Habitat for Humanity, like building a playground or going to New York after Hurricane Sandy for cleanup efforts. We built houses and renovated homes in Baltimore City, volunteered at soup kitchens and [mentored at] an elementary school near Homeland. We basically went after school to work on projects with them, depending on the child, with homework or reading or art.
Whenever I have time, which is not so much these days, I try to give back to the community. Any time you volunteer, you realize the satisfaction you get from the help you provide. You could never imagine how moving it is, how people are so thankful for your help. Like helping the kids for a semester, you build a connection with the child. Unfortunately, these are kids who really need that additional assistance, so they are so grateful. They are so excited to see you.
Every project touches you in some way. And I’ve learned that, more than the people you serve, it really benefits you.
Which is your favorite of the holidays this season?
All of the holidays are about family time for me, [but] I think Rosh Hashanah is my favorite. Everyone thinks, “new year, celebrations,” but for me it’s because I’m a spiritual person. It’s a beginning. It’s a chance for us to reflect and really look back on the previous year. You can utilize what you’ve learned to improve the next Jewish year.
How will you improve?
One of the things I’m working on is to not be as rash. If you spoke to Alex three years ago, I would make a lot of decisions on the fly. [Laughs]. I’ve calmed down, and I think through things more thoroughly. I want to continue to improve on that. Definitely, seeing myself this past year, that quality of thinking through things more has been the [strongest].
When do you sing?
In addition to work, my secret second life, my hobby, my passion, my love is being a professional singer. Pre-COVID, I would do events all over the globe we’ll say, weddings, corporate parties.
ARIEL is a wonderful organization, open to everyone, but they started out focusing on Russian Jews, bringing everyone together. So for Chanukah parties or Purim or Passover, whenever [ARIEL] Rabbi [Velvel] Belinsky asks me to perform at their events, I happily oblige.
Who are your role models?
I would say two. First, my family — my mother, father, sister and her husband. My father passed away less than a month before their 40th wedding anniversary. These days, you hear more about divorce than marriage. Especially under COVID, divorce rates have spiked. But my family’s relationship has been an example of not just what I look for in a person, but how I should behave.
My sister and her husband just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary, another continuation of the example my parents set.
What does your Jewish identity mean to you?
Over the years, being involved with all these organizations and being part of not just the Reform Jewish community but being welcomed by more observant families into their homes for Shabbatons, I’m just so proud of being a Jew. I’m proud of saying “I’m Jewish.”
Judaism is not just a religion. It’s a race. It’s who we are. It’s an ethnicity. For me, personally, everything that comes along with that identity is part of my life.