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Temple B'rith Kodesh offices will be closed on Tuesday, April 23 in observance of Passover. Join us that morning for a joint service at Temple Sinai, 363 Penfield Road at 10:30 am !

Bernstein Society

The Philip S. Bernstein Society, established in 1986, honors the memory of the spiritual leader of our temple between 1927 and 1973. 
The Society provides funding and leadership for expanded and enriched programming and projects to cultivate an understanding and appreciation of our Jewish heritage, and to perpetuate the legacy of the late Rabbi Bernstein.



Join us for this year's Bernstein Shabbat on Friday, November 5 at 6:00 pm.  Our guest speaker will be Rabbi David Katz.  

Rabbi Katz was born and raised in Rochester and is a graduate of the TBK Religious School. He is a trained interim Rabbi and an expert in visioning, change, and transformation.

Rabbi Katz was ordained in 1981 and awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree from Hebrew Union College in 2006. He has 40 years in the rabbinate, including service to eight congregations as an interim rabbi. He has authored numerous articles and is the co-editor of Reading Between The Lines: New Stories from the Bible. He served on committees that developed Mishkan T’filah, the newest Reform Judaism prayer book, published in 2007, that is used in synagogues throughout North America.  Rabbi Katz also developed the “Moments” Engagement Program, a way of organizing synagogue life to assure successful attendance at every program, service and event.

Rabbi Katz has served on the boards of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and National Association of Temple Educators and as president of the New York Area Reform Rabbis. He has garnered multiple honors, and awards from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion for scholarship, community service and human relations. He also holds degrees in theatre from Northwestern University.

Rabbi Katz and his wife, Nancy, an artist, appreciate the natural beauty and resources of Upstate New York. Their daughter, Emily, is executive director of “Justice for Kurds” and founder of Hampstead Rose, a consulting firm specializing in international cross-cultural projects. Their son, Dr. Benjamin Katz, is a harpsichordist and composer.

Click here to read an article about Rabbi Katz that appeared in the Rochester Beacon earlier this year.



2021 marks the 35th year for the Bernstein Society. If the Society is to endure, we need you, the younger members of TBK to join us. Your membership along with a one-time contribution of $200 can make a real difference in our ability to plan future programs and provide the kind of leadership that will enrich our lives. Please help us to perpetuate the memory of this dynamic leader of TBK and create a vibrant future for our congregation.

Contact Us

Phone:  (585) 244-7060 ext. 229
Click here to e-mail for more information about the Bernstein Society


Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wed, April 24 2024 16 Nisan 5784