Seth L. Bernstein is Rabbi Emeritus of Bet Aviv in Columbia, MD. He served as Rabbi of Temple Sinai in Worcester, MA from 1986-2011 and was Assistant and Associate Rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York, NY from 1977-1986.
He holds a D.Min. degree from Andover Newton Theological School in the areas of chaplaincy and family systems theory. Currently he is an instructor in the D.Min. program at HUC-JIR/New York. He is a retired Board Certified Chaplain with both the Association of Professional Chaplains and Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains.
He served as the Jewish Chaplain at UMass-Memorial Hospital and was the Pastoral Care Director of the Jewish Home Hospice in Worcester, MA. He has been active in the Joint Mentoring Commission of the CCAR and HUC-JIR. For fifteen years he served as responder for the CCAR Hotline (later Rapid Response) in assisting Rabbis and their families who are in crisis. He taught in the rabbinic supervision program at HUC-JIR in New York from 2011-13 and continues to teach in the D.Min. program at HUC-JIR. He was a member of the editorial teams of Mishkan Refuah—Where Healing Resides and Mishkan Avelut—Where Grief Resides published by the CCAR. Currently he is Chair of the CCAR Ethics Board of Appeals.
Since 1998 when he began his disaster spiritual care training with American Red Cross’s SAIR team, he has remained active nationally in disaster spiritual care response. He was a responder to ARC’s efforts at both family assistance centers at Logan airport in September 2001. He was a lead administrative officer of Spiritual Care in New York City in December 2001 as part of ARC’s 9/11 response and recovery efforts and was a Chief of Spiritual Care for Superstorm Sandy in New York City in November 2012.
From 2013 to 2017 he was the Disaster Spiritual Care Advisor of the Mid-Atlantic Division of the American Red Cross. At the present time, he is a Disaster Spiritual Care Instructor for the National Capital & Greater Chesapeake Region of the American Red Cross. His most recent national deployment with the American Red Cross was in October 2018 when he was one of three American Red Cross Disaster Spiritual Care team members who first responded to the shootings in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.
He is married to Marsha and they are the parents of Michael (and Daphna Straus) and Jana (and Jeremy Sharp) and the grandparents of Allie, Theo, Sam, and Eve.