Jonathan Berger's Influences (runtime 1:27) - As a lawyer who's deaf, Jonathan Berger discusses the vital influence of his grandmother, as well as a fellow prosecutor who encouraged him to get into the courtroom.
My name is Jonathan Berger and I am a father of two, I’m a married man - to a wonderful woman named Meredith - and I am an attorney.
There was probably not just one person who influenced me. There are probably at least two people who influenced me. First was my grandmother Syde Maisel Linowitz; she was this woman who was brilliant. And she was a silent leader. She always taught me that you do good by action, not by talk. So she was one person who influenced me.
The second person who influenced me was a woman named Jill Mariani. She was from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and she was another prosecutor. When I started my internship, I worked for her. She was a short little tiny, scrawny Italian woman, who was such a powerhouse. She kept pushing me to be the best I could do. To be better than I could do. And she inspired me to push to become a trial lawyer at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office because she knew I could do it.
I remember when I was thinking about doing it, I was like ‘No, I couldn’t do it. I’m deaf. How could I function in the courtroom? And she helped me, and she said ‘Jon, you could do whatever you want to do.’ And so she really played a huge role in where I am and who I am today.