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Rebecca Thurman Bernstein

Rebecca Thurman Bernstein was lauded by local and national organizations for her efforts to improve health care, literacy, and Jewish life in Portland, Maine. Bernstein earned two law degrees from Boston University in 1917 and 1918 and worked for a law firm for four years before getting married and shifting her focus from paid work to volunteering. She was an early member of the Birth Control League and a board member of both Maine Medical Center and Portland’s Child and Family Services. She also testified before legislative committees on health and social issues. She served on the national board of the National Council of Jewish Women and was president of NCJW’s Portland and New England sections, as well as vice president of the Jewish Federation and life director of Portland’s JCC. She was also director of the College Club and a board member of Westbrook College and the Portland Public Library. She was honored with the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award in 1968 and the University of Maine’s Distinguished Community Service Award in 1969, among her many commendations.

More on Rebecca Thurman Bernstein
Date of Birth
April 14, 1896
Place of Birth
Boston, Massachusetts
Date of Death
December 22, 1987

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rebecca Thurman Bernstein." (Viewed on March 25, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/bernstein-rebecca>.


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