Together We Mourn


Blaze Bernstein

Our community is in pain and grieving. We have lost one of our family. A member of our community, Blaze Bernstein, was found dead after a heart-wrenching 8-day search.

We mourn with Gideon Bernstein, Blaze’s father, Board Chair of the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County (JCFOC), an active member and 2014 Mensch of the Year of the Solomon Society of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS), and a highly-visible and respected community leader.

We mourn with Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, Blaze’s mother and a member of Women’s Philanthropy of JFFS and the JCFOC Grants Task Force; her dignity and dedication to her family during the most trying of times has been extraordinary. 

We mourn with Jay and Beaue, Blaze’s younger brother and sister. We mourn with Blaze’s grandparents, Leah & Richard Bernstein and Regina & Gary Pepper. We mourn with his cousins and extended family.

We mourn with Blaze’s friends from Orange County High School of the Arts where he attended as a gifted creative writer.

We mourn with Blaze’s friends from the University of Pennsylvania where he studied psychology on a pre-med track and blossomed as a writer. A “foodie” and amateur chef, Blaze was just elected to be the managing editor of Penn Appetit, the student-run magazine on food at Penn.

We mourn with the worldwide Jewish community who united in prayer and in positive actions to support the search for Blaze. From Canada to Israel and beyond, myriad acts of lovingkindness were extended to the family and community.

Because, in Blaze’s sweet and familiar image, we see our son or grandson. We see our friend, our cousin, or our classmate. We see a mensch. We see the potential of an extremely bright young man, ready to make his mark on the world. May we all strive to do good in Blaze’s honor – give tzedakah*, perform mitzvot (good deeds) as a means of tikkun olam (repair of the world), and care for others with loving kindness (gemilut hasidim).  

Words of Consolation

Shabbat Shalom,


Arlene Miller
President & CEO
Jewish Federation & Family Services

Wendy Arenson
Executive Director
Jewish Community Foundation of
Orange County

*Should you wish to continue to honor Blaze and his memory through tzedakah, the Bernstein family asks that you make a contribution to the Blaze Bernstein Memorial Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County –



 Jewish Federation & Family Services
1 Federation Way, Suites 210 & 220,  Irvine, CA 92603