Brooklyn's Jewish Businessmen: Pre: 1925 Bernstein-Bernstein

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Moses Bernstein, of 350 Stone Avenue, enjoys an impeccable reputation and a high standing as a mature, clever and keen operator of land in various sections of the boro. A close observer of the trend of events in Brooklyn, a student of its population and the latter's character and needs, and well-informed on the tendencies of new elements drifting into Brooklyn, Bernstein is thus enabled to buy land on the basis of reason and judgment and knowledge, rather than pure guesswork.

Bernstein, who is a modest but very congenial and generous man, was born in Russia, on March 15, 1870. There he was taught the rudiments of the Jewish religion and given an elementary secular education, after which he attended the Russian "gymnasium," the counterpart of the American High School. He landed in this country on June 18, 1887, and after an introductory struggle, in the course of which the young man tried hard to find his place in this vast and unknown-to-him country, he finally decided to go into the mercantile line, in which he remained for a number of years.

When, however, he saw the amazing growth of Greater New York, and grew aware of the possibilities that lay in the realty field, Bernstein forsook the mercantile line, and in 1904 entered wholeheartedly into the realty field, in which he remains ever since.

Bernstein believes that the constantly growing demands of the new generation alone would keep the builders busy, but that there is also a substantial flow of residents from other parts into Brooklyn, and this, too, calls for sizable accommodations.

Bernstein is extensively known in the Boro's communal and charitable circles, to which he contributes generously. He is a member of the Federation of Jewish Charities, Brownsville Dispensary, Stone Avenue Talmud Torah, Director of Adath Israel, member of the Knights of Pythias, Chamber of Commerce, and of the Masonic organization.

For recreation, he is fond of theatre, automobiling, and walking. He was married in 1895, has seven children, and lives with his family at 1370 Union Street.


Samuel Bernstein, of 430 Crown Street, distinctly belongs to the type of builder that is both rare and vitally essential to a growing community, the pioneering builder. What holds the greatest fascination for him and, happily, also material reward is not merely the erection of homes in already known sections, but the development anew of whole tracts of land for dwellings and the creation of new residential districts and communities.

Coming from a family of enterprising merchants in Russia, he apparently inherited from his father, who was a prominent businessman across the water, the streak for originating things. Possessed of large vision, and, what is quite as important, of much energy and perseverance, Bernstein grasps the possibilities that the future offers and acts swiftly to realize these possibilities.

The man started his busy career twenty years ago in Brownsville where, at first, he built small houses. This was but a few years after he had arrived from Russia, where he was born on March 20, 1885, and where he learned carpentry.

He remained in Brownsville for 14 years, though during this time he was active outside of this section as well. Gradually expanding on both the number and size of his structures, Bernstein had soon acquired the reputation of a prominent builder. However, conditions of the market for the sale of houses were then such, that he found him-self with a great deal on his hands and the difficulty of disposing of his properties.

This was the crucial period of his career, but he faced reality undaunted, and with his faith undiminished. About six years ago he left Brownsville and began developments in Jamaica, Boro Park, Flushing, Astoria, and finally in East Flatbush, where he has his office at this moment, at 2101 Avenue U. Without exaggeration it may be said that he is greatly responsible for the rapid rise of Avenue U, in East Flatbush, and the territory adjoining it. He built here more than 250 houses, which were quickly snatched away.

Bernstein believes that Brooklyn is bound to see a steady rise in land values, and a progressive growth in both the residential line as well as business line. The scarcity of vacant land, on the one hand, and the continuous demand for accommodations of the increasing population, on the other hand, are likely to enhance these values substantially, in his opinion.

Bernstein is widely known in Brooklyn's philanthropic and communal circles. He is a member of the Federation of Jewish Charities, Temple Petach Tikvah, the Young Friends Lodge of Brownsville, the Big Brothers and Sisters Federation, Incl., the Chamber of Commerce, the Brownsville-E. N.Y. Hospital, and the Day Nursery.

His relaxations consist in the theatre, music and walking. He is married, and is the father of three children, and lives at 430 Crown Street.


Website: The History
Article Name: Brooklyn's Jewish Businessmen: Pre: 1925 Bernstein-Berstein
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Building up Greater Brooklyn: with sketches of men instrumental in Brooklyn's amazing development, Brooklyn, N.Y. by Leon Wexelstein; Brooklyn Biographical Society 1925.
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