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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.


2016 marks the 30th 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.

Sun, July 25 2021 16 Av 5781