Giving Tuesday Donation to Niles West!

Hello Niles West Family,

Today is Giving Tuesday, and I am thrilled to announce a very generous donation that Niles West will receive from a 1972 Niles West alum, Mr. Barry Berger, and his wife Mrs. Taffy Berger.

Mr. Berger contacted me in August to let me know that he and his wife, Taffy, set up a foundation to give back to the organizations that helped them achieve the success they have experienced in their careers. Niles West is one of those organizations. He spoke of his very fond memories of Niles West and how it made him the person he is today.

Mr. Berger grew a successful home health care business in Los Angeles after leaving Lincolnwood. He has a very warm place in his heart for those in need of special care. With the Bergers’ donation this year, we plan to offer several student scholarships, give a lump sum to the Niles West Special Education Department to support student programs, and also provide funding to the Educational Foundation to help students in need. Mr. and Mrs. Berger plan to provide an annual donation of $50,000 to Niles West for the next 10 years.

Our students are very fortunate to receive this generous donation, and we are always amazed at the commitment to and pride for Niles West that many of our alumni demonstrate. This is a special place for so many. We are humbled and thankful for the Bergers’ generosity on this Giving Tuesday.

Please see below a bio and history of Barry and Taffy Berger.

Taffy and Barry Berger Biography

Taffy Steinfeld-Berger was born in the Bronx and moved to New Jersey where she graduated from Teaneck High School. Upon graduation from high school, Taffy enrolled at Boston University, majoring in Art.


Taffy moved to Los Angeles in 1974 and met Barry Berger in 1984, and they married in 1985. Upon their marriage, Taffy joined Barry in growing his business that was started 5 years earlier. She oversaw about 100 employees along with managing the general operations of providing quality home health care services to the community. She grew to be a leader in Accredited’s growth and was responsible for its success. The Bergers have no children but have always had dogs. Currently they have 2 dogs, Spanky and Dudley.


Barry Berger was born in Lincolnwood and is the youngest of 4 children. All four children graduated from Lincoln Hall and Niles West. Upon graduation, Barry moved to Phoenix and attended Mesa Community College and transferred to Arizona State University and graduated in 1976 with a BS degree in Business. Barry’s interest in business started at 9 years old, when he started working for his father’s jewelry store in Chicago. After graduating from ASU, Barry moved to Los Angeles and worked for a radiology company that provided nuclear medicine and ultrasound services to hospitals. Barry saw the future of health care, and at age 26, ventured out on his own to open up a home care company. Accredited Home Health was founded in 1980. Throughout the years, Accredited grew by providing skilled and unskilled home health care services to the senior and developmentally disabled population. Accredited developed a delivery system for the state of California that saved the state millions and millions of dollars per year by providing a service that offered respite care to the developmentally disabled. Accredited provided skilled home health care including nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapy. Accredited maintained a census of over 1000 patients per month while maintaining a 4.5 star rating as scored by Medicare. Accredited also provided caregivers throughout Southern California to assist individuals with their daily activities of living.

The Bergers saw an opportunity to retire and sell the business in 2021. Accredited was sold on November 30, 2021 to a publicly traded company. At the end, Accredited services over 10,000 clients per month and employed 2500 per week.


The Bergers are very grateful for what they have achieved. They built a business by treating people honestly and with respect. Taffy and Barry decided to set up a charitable foundation upon their retirement and decided along with “paying it forward,” they would also “pay it backwards.”


Barry has fond memories of growing up in Lincolnwood and attending Lincolnwood Schools and Niles West. From being “Camper of the Year” at the $3.00 summer camp Lincolnwood Recreation in 1963, to attending the bonfire at the Halloween Party at the park, to the friends he made in Lincolnwood and Niles West, he could not imagine a better way to spend his youth.

“It is our sincere pleasure to be able to make this commitment.” –Taffy and Barry Berger


Mini Portfolio Day (Tuesday, 10/18/2022)

On Tuesday, October 18th, Niles West will be hosting Mini Portfolio Day!

Mini Portfolio Day was developed by Niles West art teachers Deanna Sortino and John Zilewicz as a way to give the top art schools, colleges and universities access to over 250 art students from over 13 public and private high schools in the state of Illinois. Each college will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with students throughout the day to conduct art portfolio reviews, talk about art majors, and engage deeper about post-secondary creative careers. Students from various grade levels will come prepared with about 5-15 art works to present to college reps for review, as well as questions for the individual schools about admissions, scholarships, etc. Students will be able to utilize the feedback they receive to strengthen their portfolios before they officially apply to art school and learn more about their particular school through presentations that will be offered throughout the day.

Click here for more information on the event! Please join us throughout the day in supporting our talented students.

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Skokie Community Health Survey – Your Health – Your Community – Your Voice

D219 Colleagues,

The Skokie Health and Human Services is conducting a community health assessment and has asked for our participation.  Please see their note below:
We are asking Skokie residents to participate in this short and anonymous Community Health Survey. Your voice matters.  To take this survey use this link:  The survey will take about 5-7 minutes to complete, is anonymous, and available in English, اردو, Española, Tagalog, فارسی and Русский.  Skokie’s Community Health Survey helps the Skokie Health and Human Services Department gain insight into factors that may impact the community’s health and how they may be improved. The data collected will help a group of community members and leaders set goals and assist in designing and implementing the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).  If you have any questions please contact Liz Nelson, Public Health Coordinator with the Village of Skokie, at [email protected] or 847-933-8494.