Zev (Wolf) Halevi Berman was born in 1906 in Philadelphia to charedi parents. (His father's name was Shmuel.)
Billy, as he was known in his youth, attended Mishkan Yisroel in Philadelphia and excelled in baseball, basketball, and swimming. He attended a high school associated with the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) where his public speaking skills made him a folk hero after he led the debate team in a close victory over a rival school. He later enrolled in the RIETS yeshiva where he earned rabbinic ordination. He was offered a position at a synagogue in Teaneck, New Jersey, but turned it down to study at the Hevron Yeshiva.
Bernard Revel, president of RIETS, and later first president of Yeshiva University remembered Berman as such: “A proud American and an understanding son of his people, with a deep knowledge of the Torah, a charming personality, and an eloquent speaker. In his short life he made many sacrifices for the Torah, and it was given to him to make the supreme sacrifice al Kiddush Hashem."
In Hebron, he earned the esteem of his colleagues. Heads of the yeshiva considered him a role model commenting, “we need more students like him from America.”
On August 24, 1929 he was killed by Arabs in the Hevron massacre. He was buried in the Hevron cemetery.