Paul Bernstein, a resident of New Rochelle, was recently selected by The Algemeiner to appear on their fifth annual “J100” list of the top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life, for his “impactful work on behalf of the Jewish people.” Bernstein is the founding CEO of Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools, a position to which he brings his lifelong connection to Jewish day school education and wide-ranging management experience in the fields of education, philanthropy, social impact, government and new media.
Beginning with his modern Orthodox/Zionist day school primary education and his years as an activist with the Union of Jewish Students and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Bernstein’s life reflects a passionate commitment to Jewish culture and the Jewish day school world. He has been active in some of the leading initiatives for education reform and excellence, both in the UK and US. Bernstein served as a member of the board of governors of North West London Jewish Day School and as chair of the board of trustees of the Foundation for Newark’s Future. He is a former board member of the Newark Charter School Fund and Tzedek (UK), a charitable organization that provides a Jewish response to issues of global poverty.
In his position at Prizmah, Bernstein has built a strong team whose leadership has transformed the organization form a startup nonprofit to one of the most powerful resources in the field of Jewish education. The strong network established by Prizmah serves as the intersection of the Jewish day school world, where schools of every denomination, foundations, federations, professionals, philanthropists and individuals who are passionate about Jewish education come together for learning. Prizmah provides timely resources and customized support for leaders of Jewish day schools.
Growing up in London, Bernstein credits his Jewish day school education, along with his family, as a formative experience. He served on the board of his children’s elementary school in London, and now, living in Westchester, his two teenage children attend Solomon Schechter.
Bernstein’s former work in philanthropy covered a wide range of areas, but education reform was always a prime focus of his career. His efforts in education reform in Newark prompted him to bring the best of what’s happening in education to the Jewish day school arena, specifically to the creation of Prizmah.
Commenting on being honored as one of the “J100,” Bernstein shared, “I am humbled to have been selected by the editors of The Algemeiner. This recognizes the vital role that Jewish day schools play in shaping the future of our children and the Jewish community. The schools that Prizmah supports, as the Center for Jewish Day Schools, help students maximize their potential in general and Jewish education. Being a proud Jewish day school alumnus and parent, I am passionate about the lifelong positive impact that Jewish day schools have on our children, building a strong Jewish future.”
Bernstein holds an MA (Hons) from Cambridge University and MBA from Cranfield School of Management. He is married to Lisa Capelouto, an organizational consultant who works primarily in the Jewish community.
By Yvette Finkelstein