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Edgar Bernstein, South African Communal Leader, Dead at 62

Memorial services were held today for Edgar Bernstein, a journalist, communal leader and South African correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency for 30 years, who died Friday after a brief illness at the age of 62. Mr. Bernstein willed his body to science and in a letter stating his belief that “I will not be resurrected,” asked that neither funeral services nor burial be conducted.

Mr. Bernstein was born in South Africa in 1912. His parents were Jewish immigrants from London. He began his journalistic career as a reporter for the Zionist Record and later joined the South African Jewish Times as assistant editor and subsequently editor. He was associated with that newspaper for over a quarter of a century and established the JTA office in South Africa 30 years ago.

At the time of his death, Mr. Bernstein was deputy director general of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. He had served as a top official of the South African P.E.N. Center during its crucial struggle for freedom of expression for writers. Mr. Bernstein was also a lay leader, preacher and teacher of Judaism at the Reform Temple Israel here and was the author of a number of books and a volume of poetry.

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