Remembering Joe Bornstein, z”l

Joe Bornstein’s kindness and generosity knew no bounds. His support helped to transform the social services and nonprofit landscape throughout Southern Maine, as the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein provided funds and raised awareness of countless causes and initiatives over the years.

As Board President of Jewish Family Services, Joe helped to shape that program both as a stand-alone service provider and, later, as a part of the JCA. In recent years, Joe and Debbie continued to support the work of KJFS through donations, offering free legal aid to families in crisis, hosting annual diaper drives, and serving on the KJFS advisory committee. Joe and Debbie’s support for our new building included naming the Kosher Kitchen and, on the weekend of our grand opening, the dedication of the time and temp. building to the message “JCA Open!”  We are so grateful to have known Joe and his incredible family, and will continue to be inspired by his example of caring deeply for others, doing good wherever and whenever you can, and always maintaining a positive outlook.


“Joe Bornstein exemplified the Jewish definition of mensch. His thoughtful actions made a difference to so many. The mark he made on our community will never be forgotten. His friendship will be forever cherished.”
– Bette and Sam Novick


“I remember him as quick-witted, generous, and welcoming. He was a true tzadik – a righteous person – always giving when asked, and supporting those who needed it most. He was a pillar of this community, and is deeply missed.”
– Rachael Alfond, JCA Board President


“I’ll never forget the evening Joe and Debbie hosted a small group of Jewish Family Services supporters interested in learning more about our program and how they could get involved.  They graciously opened their home, made everyone feel welcome, and Debbie served the most incredible array of desserts I have ever seen.  I was less than one year in my role as Director and was incredibly nervous to speak – Joe pulled me aside and told me to keep my head up and not to worry; I knew how important the work was, and I just needed to speak to that.  I’ve held onto that moment all these years later and can still hear his voice before I give a presentation.”
– Karli Efron, Director, Michael Klahr Jewish Family Services


Learn more about Joe’s life and legacy here:

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