Janice Bernstein

Janice Bernstein passed away peacefully at her home this week. She was a remarkable woman who overcame many obstacles early in life to achieve great things. After losing her father at a young age and growing up in very modest circumstances, she earned a full scholarship to Sarah Lawrence College, and then received a graduate fellowship at New York University. After finishing college, she dedicated her life to social activism. She was an early activist in the civil rights movement, founding the organization Join Hands in 1968, which would eventually have thousands of members. She ran for the Los Angeles Board of Education in 1971, served on the board of directors of the Community Relations Conference of Southern California, and was appointed by Mayor Tom Bradley as the president of the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission. She also served as the executive director of the West Los Angeles-Beverly Hills YWCA. She then became a realtor at The George Elkins Company, and had a very successful career in real estate. Janice was a dedicated wife and mother who adored her family. She also loved nature and music and loved to sing. She was married for fifty-seven years to her beloved husband Ralph, who preceded her in death. She is survived by her sons David and Jim, daughters-in-law Kathleen and Abby, brother Robert, sister-in-law Maida and her beloved grandchildren Gabriella, Max, and Eliza. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to National Council of Jewish Women or to the Sarah Lawrence College Scholarship Fund. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 24th at 1:30pm at Leo Baeck Temple, 1300 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles. She will always be in our hearts.

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 23, 2013