Berman Bakery has been transformed from a mere business into a landmark in the Jewish state’s history. Its 140th anniversary last week celebrated the bakery’s long survival through wars and changing borders, till it became an institution in the Israel of today.The celebration was beautiful and meaningful, taking place at Hutzot Hayotzer near the Sultan’s Pool in Jerusalem – the site of the original bakery.Wine and decadent appetizers were served to the hundreds of people – friends and family of the Bermans – who sat at white tables and chairs and listened to a bassist, flutist and guitarist perform on a stage. The crowd was hushed by Yitzhak Berman, current chairman and a fourth-generation family member in Berman Bakery operations.Berman recounted how the family business was founded in 1875 in Jerusalem, created in moments of desperation, when Rabbi Todros Halevi Berman and his wife, Kreshe, ran out of money. Kreshe started to bake and sell her goods throughout the holy city, only to quickly realize the expansion opportunities at their disposal. Eventually, sons Yehoshua and Eliyahu took over.Until 1967, the bakery was strategically located close to what was the Jordanian border, and the weight was on its shoulders to provide Israel’s army and its citizens with food. Despite attempts to bomb Berman Bakery, it held on throughout the wars.Since 2014, the factory – located in Givat Shaul – has expanded tremendously in size and equipment, with completely computerized, automatic machines that have improved scale and efficiency without sacrificing the quality of the baked goods.Some purists, however, maintain that bread tastes best when baked by hand. Today, we just push a button and the mixer does the work.”In any case, now that Yitzhak Berman has taken over, the bakery has continued to thrive and expand throughout Israel and the capital, with numerous branches.He concluded his speech with a verse from Ecclesiastes, “A good name is better than good oil,” adding at the end, “and good bread.”While dinner was being served, Prof. Pinchas D. Lebensart of Hadassah University Medical Center reminisced about how long he has known the family. He and Yitzhak Berman first met in the Paratroop Brigade in 1962; Lebensart was 19 and Berman 18.Despite different lifestyles, the two men have never lost touch.Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat then mused about the significance of the anniversary, going on to extol the bakery for modernizing its operations and keeping up with the times throughout these last 140 years.“We are going through a good and healthy renaissance in Jerusalem,” he said, noting Berman had a part in it.Barkat then revealed two commemorative millstones, with a dedication engraved in memory of Yehoshua Berman. The stones were originally used in the flour factory for grinding wheat, active until 1948’s War of Independence. The last remnants of the original site, they will stand at Hutzot Hayotzer as a permanent reminder of the mark the Berman family has left on Jerusalem, providing a taste of history in every bite of bread.