Philip Bernstein was a Jewish communal professional for over sixty years, involved with numerous cultural, civic and philanthropic organizations. These included the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Joint Distribution Committee, the United Jewish Appeal, and the local and national offices of the Council of Jewish Federations (CJF), where he served from 1934 until his death in 1995. From 1967 until his retirement in 1979, Bernstein was the Executive Vice President of CJF. HIAS has long benefitted from CJF’s financial assistance to support its daily operations and special projects. At Bernstein’s retirement party on September 15, 1979, numerous well-wishers came together to celebrate his long career and all that he had done in the field of Jewish communal service.
The festivities included a musical revue tribute during which executives of national Jewish aid and immigration organizations, as well as CJF officers, sang a song about collaboration between the various national agencies.
Gaynor I. Jacobson, the Executive Vice President of HIAS at the time, was invited to take part but he objected to the original version of the song as HIAS was not included.
While it is not clear how serious his protest was, organizers changed one of the couplets in the song to include HIAS so that Jacobson would take part.