Evan R. Bernstein

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Evan R. Bernstein
Nationality American
Occupation Nonprofit Executive
Known for Jewish and Israel Activism

Evan R. Bernstein is an American public figure and community leader, known for his work with Jewish NGOs. He worked for the Anti Defamation League (ADL) from 2013 and became the inaugural CEO of Community Security Service in May 2020. He has been heavily involved in interfaith relations and law enforcement discussions in New York City and the surrounding cities and states.

Early life & education

Bernstein was born in New London, Connecticut on October 6, 1974. He attended East Lyme High School and was educated at Western Connecticut State University, where he played lacrosse and studied social work. Bernstein graduated in 1998 with a BA.[1] He received an alumni award from Western Connecticut State University in 2007 for his professional successes, as he was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the School of Professional Studies.[1]

Bernstein received his ALM from Harvard University in 2011. While at Harvard he sat on the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations Student Advisory Board.[2]


Bernstein began his career at United Way,[3] before working in senior positions at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and The David Project Center for Jewish Leadership.[4][5] He started as the Executive Director and sat on the Israel based senior management team for American Friends of Migdal Ohr in 2011, one of the largest NGOs in Israel.[6]

In 2013, Bernstein was hired by Abe Foxman to be the New York Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League, based in New York City. In June 2018, the New York regional office was merged with neighboring New Jersey, putting the regions under Bernstein's leadership. In December 2019, he was appointed to be the Vice President of the Northeast Division that included the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Boston offices.[7] Shortly after joining ADL, Bernstein spoke about the dangers of hate groups in the US, following the Overland Park Jewish Community Center shooting.[8]

While serving as Regional Director for the ADL in New York, the region witnessed an unprecedented rise in antisemitism and violent hate crimes.[9] Bernstein spoke regularly about the issues nationally in media.[10][11] These incidents have included Anti-Semitic slurs by public figures,[12][13][14][15] vandalism,[16][17] and other attacks across the region.[18][19]

In 2018, an attack on Mapbox's naming of Manhattan lead many sites such as SnapChat and the Financial Times to display Anti-Semitic maps on their website.[20][21] Bernstein spoke extensively with the media about the dangers such attacks can have on the Jewish community.[22][23]

Throughout December 2019, there were numerous recorded attacks in the borough of Brooklyn, a shooting in New Jersey[24] and an attack on a Rabbi's home.[25] Bernstein was at the scene in Jersey City and Monsey shortly after the incidents.[26] All of the incidents were said to be antisemitic attacks.[27] Bernstein was interviewed frequently on the incidents, often acting as a spokesperson for the wider Jewish community in the states of New York and New Jersey and worked closely with law enforcement.[28] The attack on the Rabbi's home in New York City became known nationally as the Monsey Hanukkah stabbing.[29] Following the incidents, he criticised NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for suggesting this was a “right-wing movement,” which Bernstein suggested was the wrong thing to do as it "normalised antisemitic attacks".[30]

Shortly after the Jersey City shootings, Bernstein and ADL created a partnership with NAACP to reduce hate crimes in the state of New Jersey.[31] The aims were to educate public officials and improve civil rights in the state.[32] The move came after a number of public officials made unacceptable statements about hate crime incidents in the state.[33]

The 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States led to Bernstein being regularly in the media, due to the rise in hate crimes. Prior to the pandemic in the country, Bernstein spoke about how he and the Anti-Defamation League had uncovered early discussions about extremists planning to weaponise the virus. He called the findings "deeply disturbing, but not entirely surprising."[34] Bernstein also frequently commented on antisemitic incidents in the United States, following the outbreak of Covid-19.[35]

In May 2020, it was announced that Bernstein would be joining the nonprofit, Community Security Service as its inaugural CEO. The role will help expand the number of volunteers that will be trained to protect Jewish institutions and events across America.[36]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Taylor, Robert. "Evan Bernstein ’98 helping children in crisis". Western Connecticut State University. http://www.wcsu.edu/giving/wp-content/uploads/sites/184/2019/05/Cupola-Spring-2012-for-PDF.pdf. 
  2. Pierre, Harry (July 3, 2018). "A full-time job fighting hate". Harvard University. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/07/a-full-time-job-fighting-hate/. 
  3. "Orthodox Forum of Highland Park/Edison to Present Discussion on Anti-Semitism". Jewish Link. https://www.jewishlinknj.com/community-news/middlesex/35995-orthodox-forum-of-highland-park-edison-to-present-discussion-on-anti-semitism?format=amp. 
  4. "ADL Announces Appointment of Evan R. Bernstein as New York Regional Director". Anti Defamation League. September 12, 2013. https://nynj.adl.org/news/adl-announces-appointment-of-evan-r-bernstein-as-new-york-regional-director/. 
  5. Kampeas, Ron (August 17, 2010). "Changes At The David Project". Times of Israel. https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/changes-at-the-david-project/. 
  6. "Stamford Resident named head of American Friends of Migdal Ohr". Jewish Ledger. September 21, 2011. http://www.jewishledger.com/2011/09/stamford-resident-named-head-of-american-friends-of-migdal-ohr/. 
  7. "Evan Bernstein: Vice President, Northeast Division". ADL. https://nynj.adl.org/evan-bernstein/. 
  8. Levs, Josh. "What the killings at Kansas Jewish sites say about U.S. hate groups". CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/14/justice/kansas-shooting-hate-groups/index.html. 
  9. "String of Anti-Semitic Attacks Puts NY's Jewish Communities On Edge". NY1. January 2, 2020. https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/inside-city-hall/2020/01/03/string-of-anti-semitic-attacks-puts-ny-s-jewish-communities-on-edge-inside-city-hall. 
  10. Kanno-Youngs, Zolan (February 27, 2018). "Anti-Semitic Acts Surged in New York Last Year". Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/anti-semitic-attacks-surged-in-new-york-last-year-1519771775. 
  11. Orecchio-Egresitz, Haven (April 20, 2020). "The coronavirus pandemic is fueling anti-Semitism around the world, and the US is no exception". BusinessInsider. https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-pandemic-fuels-anti-semitism-2020-4?r=US&IR=T. 
  12. Bandler, Aaron. "Robotics Judge Says ‘G– D— Jews’ at Student Tournament". Jewish Journal. https://jewishjournal.com/news/united-states/310745/robotics-judge-says-g-d-jews-at-student-tournament/. 
  13. Berger, Joseph (March 28, 2014). "Anti-Semitic Slur by a Westchester Fire Chief Stirs Controversy". NY Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/29/nyregion/anti-semitic-slur-by-a-westchester-fire-chief-stirs-controversy.html. 
  14. Gold, Michael (September 18, 2019). "Anti-Semitic Slur by N.J. Lawmaker Draws Swift Backlash". NY Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/nyregion/trenton-jewish-anti-semite-kathy-mcbride.html. 
  15. "CUNY holds anti-Semitism probe after ‘Zionist pig’ incident". Times of Israel. March 4, 2016. https://www.timesofisrael.com/cuny-holds-anti-semitism-probe-after-zionist-pig-incident/. 
  16. "Amazon turns N.Y. subway into Nazi train to promote new show, upsetting some riders". Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/11/24/amazon-turns-ny-subway-into-nazi-train-to-promote-new-show-upsetting-some-riders/. 
  17. "As more Jewish facilities get threats, all 100 senators ask Trump administration for ‘swift action’". Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/03/07/as-more-jewish-facilities-get-threats-senators-ask-trump-administration-for-swift-action/. 
  18. "Jewish woman assaulted in Brooklyn in front of her son". Times of Israel. December 27, 2019. https://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-woman-assaulted-in-brooklyn-in-front-of-her-son/. 
  19. Waller, Derick. "Mother walking with child beaten in 5th anti-Semitic attack in NYC". KFSN-TV. https://abc30.com/anti-semitic-attacks-brooklyn-gravesend/5791427/. 
  20. "Major apps display anti-Semitic label after Mapbox hack". Taipei Times. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2018/09/01/2003699612. 
  21. Binder, Matt. "How an anti-Semitic slur made its way onto maps across the internet". Mashable. https://mashable.com/article/mapbox-antisemitic-vandalism-snapchat/?europe=true. 
  22. Parsons, Jeff. "New York renamed ‘Jewtropolis’ on Snapchat in ‘disgusting’ attack". Metro (newspaper). https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/31/new-york-renamed-jewtropolis-on-snapchat-in-disgusting-attack-7899688/. 
  23. "Hack causes major apps to show anti-Semitic name". Denver Post. September 8, 2018. https://www.denverpost.com/2018/09/08/hack-causes-major-apps-to-show-anti-semitic-name/. 
  24. Kurita, Anthony. "Suspects in Jersey City shooting targeted kosher market: 'It began with an attack on civilians'". USA Today. https://usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/12/11/jersey-city-shooting-suspects-targeted-kosher-bodega/4396182002/. 
  25. Hayes, Suyin. "Suspect Faces Federal Charges After 5 People Stabbed at New York Hanukkah Celebration. Here's What to Know". Time (magazine). https://time.com/5756441/hanukkah-stabbing-new-york/. 
  26. Jorgensen, Sarah. "Suspect in Hanukkah celebration stabbings arrested in New York City with 'blood all over him,' source says". CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/29/us/new-york-stabbing-rabbi-home/index.html. 
  27. "Suspect in Jersey City Linked to Black Hebrew Israelite Group". NY Times. December 11, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/11/nyregion/jersey-city-shooting.html. 
  28. King, Kate (December 11, 2019). "Deadly Jersey City Attack Rattles Community". Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/deadly-jersey-city-attack-rattles-community-11576116415. 
  29. "Anti-Defamation League Responds To New York Stabbing Attack". NPR. December 29, 2019. https://www.npr.org/2019/12/29/792154955/anti-defamation-league-responds-to-new-york-stabbing-attack?t=1587567423719. 
  30. Savage, Sean. "Major Jewish groups mobilize against hate while unsure about its causes". Jewish News Syndicate. https://www.jns.org/major-jewish-groups-mobilize-against-hate-while-unsure-about-its-cause/. 
  31. "N.J. kosher market was targeted by shooters, now also suspected in Uber driver killing". CBC. https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/new-jersey-shooting-1.5392084. 
  32. "After Jersey City shooting, ADL and NAACP say, ‘We are in this together’". NJ.com. January 20, 2020. https://www.nj.com/opinion/2020/01/after-jersey-city-shooting-monsey-attack-adl-and-naacp-say-we-are-in-this-together.html. 
  33. Saleta, Ben (January 10, 2020). "NAACP, ADL announce partnership to educate public officials against hate in NJ". Jerusalem Post. https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Antisemitism/NAACP-ADL-announce-partnership-to-educate-public-officials-against-hate-in-NJ-613752. 
  34. Ain, Stewert (March 25, 2020). "Anti-Semites Threaten Jews with Virus, and the FBI Issues a Warning". Times of Israel. https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/anti-semites-threaten-jews-with-virus-and-the-fbi-issues-a-warning/. 
  35. "Jewish man told 'you're spreading coronavirus,' asked to leave store". Jerusalem Post. March 26, 2020. https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/jewish-man-asked-to-leave-car-dealership-for-spreading-coronavirus-622500. 
  36. "Council of Experts". CSS. https://www.thecss.org/about/council-of-experts/.