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Maurice Bernstein ’27

Maurice Bernstein ’27, February 10, 2000, in Keene, New Hampshire, after a brief period of failing health. Raised in an orphanage in New York City, he attended City College of New York and Stanford before coming to Reed. He earned a master’s in English literature from Columbia University in 1930, and a degree in social work from the New York School of Social Work in 1931. He was first employed as a counselor at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, where he rose to the position of director in 1940. In 1941, with the move towards small, family settings for children without parents, he was responsible for placing all residents of the asylum in foster care and closing the institution. Throughout his life, he held many responsible positions relating to child welfare. He was director of the Pleasantville Cottage School, an agency of the New York Jewish Child Care Association; associate director of the Jewish Welfare Federation in Cleveland, Ohio; director of the Kansas City Jewish Federation; and director of the United Jewish Fund in Columbus, Ohio. In 1956, he returned to New York as senior consultant and director of community planning for the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. He retired in 1968. After retirement, he served as a consultant to the Council and to Jewish social service agencies in London. He continued to work on various projects in his field until his final retirement in 1987. At the age of 87 he took up modern dance and performed with the company Risa Jaroslow and Dancers in New York City and elsewhere. He was married twice; his second wife died in 1983. He is survived by his daughter, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. His son died in 1972.

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 2000

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