Was born in 1920 in the town of Kartuz Bereza. There studied in "Talmud Torah" and in school " Tarbut ". From his childhood  demonstrated his  talent in painting, declamation and song. When concluding his studies  traveled to Warsaw to study art. Participated in the choir under the direction of DAVIDOVITZ, in great synagogue " Klomatzke " with main liturgical singer MOSHE KOSOVETZKY, and also worked as distributor of newspaper in Yddish " Moment " in the suburbs of Warsaw.


In year 1935 he studied in Art High School in Vilna until war explosion in 1939. Then returned to his town, and of there  went to Byalistpk, an important Jewish center of culture and art. With German imposition of gathering Jews of Bialistok in the Ghetto,  escaped to Russia and wondered suffering setbacks, hunger, and  was hurt until arriving in Russia to a " kolhoz ", in the city of Saratov. There worked as painter in a great manufacturing company.


In 1945 when concluding war, he returned to Poland and entered to a farm for future emigrants to Israel. Began to wonder together with refugees, in Germany and Italy, and of there, in the ship " Hatikva " traveled to Israel with illegal immigrants. 


When arriving to costs of Israel, the ship  was caught by  British, and they were sent to the island of Cyprus. There remained two years in detention camps. 


In August 1948,  arrived in Israel and he mobilized in defense army. For this services he was honored with the " Independence Order".


When finishing army, he began to organize his road with his own means, and developed  his painting expectations. He lived some years in the Kibbutz "Ein Charod" and there he formed his family, being father of two daughters. 


In 1949 he presented paintings for the first time in an exhibition of immigrant painters in Tel Aviv.  From then on, his works were presented in 44 exhibitions, in their majority as individual exhibitor, in different places of the country and of abroad, as Amsterdam, Paris and Caracas (Venezuela). His works are exposed in museums and in private collections, many of them in the country and abroad.


Until present time, appeared ten albums and books, fruit of his work. In them he painted Jewish images and described the characteristic of a missing Jewish town, as well as wrote poems in Yiddish accompanied by illustrations. 


MOSHE BERNSHTEIN obtained prize " Manger " (1982) and prize Shalom Aleichem" (1990). 


In 1992 he received the distinction of the Municipality Tel Aviv-Yaffo as "Illustrious and Dear Citizen." 


About painter's work Dr. M. BASUK wrote in "Retrospective 1947-90": " the paintings of Moishele highlight a deep  and  even authenticate vivid experience for those that didn't met those towns, their leaders and their images. He invested in it an "ant work" for its accuracy, cleaning, and aesthetics, and at the same time romantic, mystic, and symbolic. There is a renovation in this exhibition. Moishele returned to the color, changed the technique and expression form changed, but content is there. The town in physical form  goes moving away from us, but in same measure, the spirituality comes closer every time . The pictures of Moishele transmits communication, feeling, ownership, and love to a past that won't return, the roots of our existence and our Jewish identity."


The writer ABA KOVNER wrote about works of MOSHE BERNSHTEIN: 


"Under the deep celestial sky of Israel, innocent people ask: who is Jewish? Observe the interior of the figures that appear in the illustrations of Moishele, and you will find the answer. Who takes on his backs a house, who keeps in his eyes that observe far away  in time and space, the reverential fear and sadness, who  locks in his eyes the light of lost back streets, the light of the bereavement tears, and the light of  hope?. Something warm and vibrant of a Jewish home that finished, but it didn't silenced, flows and  rises of his works"


"School? Old or modern painting? Whom to painting of Bernshtein belong? I don't know, maybe also, to it's own melody, at  morning and night, years and years, line to line, point to point, faithful to his conscience, to image of his life with his solitude and stubbornness. Vilna, the Jerusalem of Lithuania, the city where painter's art grew.  He used to say: to lift  rolls of Torah after it's  reading in front of  public was necessary force of a gentile! ,  to rise the warm sadness of Jewish world that was and it no longer exists, is needed the force of ...MOISHELE BERNSHTEIN" 


Should he continue with much force.("Yeasher Choach")









Jerusalem, Yiar 14 5752

May 17 1992

Ref: 24- 1065



Moishe Bernshtein

Dizengof 184

Tel Aviv, 63462


To Moshe and  Dear family Bernshtein 


I am pleased to listen about the decision of granting you the "Illustrious and Dear Citizen's distinction" of Tel Aviv, of  year 5742 - 1992. 


The city of Tel Aviv and the art of Israel had the privilege that an artist as you has been active during long years, and that in your works you  drew the lines that not only were in the materials but also in the conscience and  memory of a stage that already happened. Your paintings and drawings are witness, some sad, some cheerful, and with humor, about Jewish towns, their images and their features. Tel Aviv had the privilege of giving you lodging and you the privilege of its appreciation and recognition. 


I wish you to continue in your fruitful work. 



With blessing