He was the executive director of the Committee of Army and Navy Religious Activities of the National Jewish Welfare Board from December 1942 through February 1946. He was president of Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the chief organization of Reform Judaism in America from July 1950 to June 1952.


His Legacy Continues

The Society sponsors Spring and Fall speaker programs and a clergy institute.

Fall Shabbat Service
on Friday October 30, 2015
note date change!

Bernstein believed the proper role for American Jews was to provide Israel with moral, political, and financial support and to be an advocate for Israel’s interests with the American Government. He was the Chairman of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), founded in 1954.

Professor Ilan Stavans, Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College, Cuba and the Jews, May 7, 2015

Rabbi David Fox Sandmel, Crown Ryan Professor of Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union and Director of Interfaith Affairs for the Anti-Defamation League, The 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate, Clergy Institute, March 27, 2015

Social Action
From 1936 to 1940 Bernstein was Chair of the Rochester City Planning and Housing Council. From that position he argued for integrated neighborhoods and the construction of affordable, integrated residences for low-income families. He was also an advocate of women’s emancipation and African American rights in the 1930s and 1940s.
Tempro, a social action program providing shelter for homeless families, started under his rabbinic tenure in the 1970s.

Rabbi Peter W. Stein, Senior Rabbi at Temple B’rith Kodesh, Shabbat Chayei Sarah: How Traditions are Passed from Generation to Generation, Nov. 11, 2014

Professor Aaron Hughes, Philip S. Bernstein Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Rochester, Jewish Studies: At the Time of Rabbi Bernstein and Now, Nov. 15, 2013

Throughout his life he was an active leader in advancing good will and brotherhood in both the Jewish and the larger communities.
In 1934, Bernstein helped establish the Interfaith Good-Will Committee between the Jewish, Protestant and Catholic communities of Rochester.
In 1942, he conducted the first pulpit exchange with Mt. Olivet Baptist Church of Rochester. This exchange continues to this day.
   Professor Harold Wechsler, Professor of Jewish Education and History at NYU Steinhardt, Jewish Access to American Higher Education in the 20th Century April 11, 2013