Bernard Borine was an ardent advocate on behalf of Jewish causes, and an omnipresent campaigner for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and Allied Jewish Appeal.
Bernard Borine, an ardent advocate on behalf of Jewish causes and concerns who was an omnipresent campaigner for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and Allied Jewish Appeal during the 1970s and ’80s, died Feb. 23.
The Cheltenham resident and onetime Cheltenham Township commissioner, as well as chair of its Civil Service Commission and head of its Republican committee, was 92.
As a businessman, the Temple University grad operated a successful food brokerage in Philadelphia, a company he turned over to his son upon his retirement in 1988.
But there was always room in his heart for service to the community, reflected in the Federation bestowing its coveted Community Award to Borine, in recognition of his herculean work as campaign chair and longtime official in sundry roles with the agency, including key roles on its cash committees and board chairmanship of its Thrift Shop.
“A good man has gone, a very good man,” lamented Ernie Kahn, legendary retired longtime executive with the Jewish Federation.
Borine was not only a terrific campaigner, remembers his colleague and friend, he was one who didn’t back off of a challenge. “He did the tough job,” Kahn says of Borine’s figurative rolling up his sleeves and going after pledges unfulfilled, as well as the “cold cases,” those that had been abandoned with little hope of recouping.
Borine’s scope wasn’t limited to the Philly region; he also served United Jewish Appeal in a variety of roles, including as a board member.
A vocal supporter of Israel, he was also a frequent flyer: Borine traveled there scores of times, serving as one of the country’s cheerleaders.
Back home, he was named an honorary board member of the Philadelphia Geriatric Center. His involvement with the Golden Slipper Club included service to its board as well and 30 years ago, he was honored with the club’s Gold Medallion Award of Achievement.
His volunteer work also extended to the Jewish National Fund, Israel Bonds and the Food Trades Lodge of B’nai B’rith.
His commitment to his township was longstanding, and when the Cheltenham Center for the Arts proved to be in danger of folding, it was “Bernie” to the rescue in 1997. Along with a committed corps of volunteers, he helped engineer a plan to keep it going.
He was, in many ways, a man with a plan — and with a heart. Kahn recalls how, before the High Holidays each year, Borine would make the rounds of the old Federation building, handing out small glass jars of horseradish.
“He went through the building handing them out to everyone. Each staff member got one,” Kahn recalls.
It was at once haimish and heartfelt, recalls Kahn — just like the man himself. “It was a simple act, filled with kindness, appropriate, and very personal,” since Borine was a food brokerage owner.
Borine is survived by his wife, the former Myrle Glickman; two daughters, Roberta Borine and Donna Scheeler; two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.