Dr. Gerald is fondly called “Bummy” by friends and members all over the country. As agreed by everyone who knows him, he is outstanding for “extraordinary leadership within the Deaf Community.”
Gerald, who was born deaf and raised in Brooklyn, NY, graduated from J.H.S 47 in 1943. During his school days his father was president and his mother treasurer of P.T.A. for a couple of years.
He graduated from Charles Evans Hughes High School in 1946. After one year at CCNY, he was transferred to Gallaudet University where he graduated in 1950.
After teaching at the Minnesota School for the Deaf. Faribault for 15 years, he was admitted to the National Leadership Training Program at California State University in Northridge (CSUN) where he obtained his MA degree in Administration and Supervision in the area of the Deaf in 1965.
He taught at the California School for the Deaf in Riverside and later became an administrator. After 37 years at CSDR, he retired in 2002 for a total of 52 years in the field of Deaf education.”
As a retired annuitant, he still continues to work at CSDR as a depository manager of the NAD Captioned Media Program and, also, is responsible for some additional projects.
His list of activities and accomplishments is too long to mention. To name a few, he was president of the National Congress of Jewish Deaf and president of the California Association of the Deaf. For four (4) terms, a total of 13 years, he was president of the Gallaudet University Alumni Association.
He served for 8 years as the Chair for the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunication Program Administrative Committee of the California Public Utilities Commission. He is currently Chair of the Payphone Service Providers Committee which oversees placement of TTYs in buildings and public accommodation throughout the State of California.
Many honors and awards have been bestowed upon Bummy in recognition of his various endeavors. On October 24, 1986, he was the first one to receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Gallaudet University at the Convocation which officially marked Gallaudet’s change from college status to university status.
He has been inducted into the state of California’s Hall of Fame and the NCJD Hall of Fame. He received the “47” Alumni Association award as “Man of the Year in 1990.
He has received the International Platform Association Silver Bowl for Popularizing Parliamentary Procedure and Gallaudet’s Alice Cogswell award for valuable service to the deaf community.
In August 1999, he was presented with the International Social Merit Award at the XIII World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf (WED) for extraordinary dedication to the cause of deaf persons and his contributions to the development of WFD.
Bummy wrote a booklet especially for deaf students on “Basic Parliamentary Procedure” and book “Bummy’s Successful Meeting Procedures.” He also developed the videotape “Bummy’s Basic Parliamentary Workshop.’
To date he has given 195 parliamentary procedure workshops to students at schools and programs for the deaf and also to adults all over the country as well as in Canada.
He was appointed by the Mayor and City Council of Riverside, California to serve on the Riverside’s Model Deaf Community Committee of which he is the chair.
Bummy is a Certified Professional Parliamentarian with the American Institution of Parliamentarians and a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians.
Dr. G. “Bummy” Burstein certainly is a part of Deaf history in California as well as in the nation. He usually brings his sense of humor, expertise, and eventually peace to meetings and events.