In Memory of Aron Bernstein

Aron Bernstein was a Professor of Physics Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a longtime supporter and board member of the Council for a Livable World.

He has been active on nuclear arms control issues since 1969, and has served the Council in a variety of capacities ever since. In his time at MIT, he initiated a project dedicated to teaching and engaging younger generations on nuclear weapons. He was passionate about ensuring that students and others across the country understood the threats nuclear weapons pose to humanity.

He’s been an ardent supporter of Council issues in his professional and personal life, from writing op-eds promoting smart nuclear arms control policies, to donating to and raising money for endorsed candidates.

Senior Fellow John Isaacs, who had worked with Aron since 1976, said he will remember Aron’s dedication to maintaining public attention on nuclear weapons issues, even after attention waned at the end of the Cold War. Aron was an active participant in Council board meetings until the last weeks of his life, and enjoyed voicing his opinions on all issues.

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation board member and MIT colleague Jim Walsh said Aron was “one of those rare beings — a thoughtful scholar, a good and cheerful person, and someone who worked with a lightness of being to make the world a better place.”

“He was a gentle soul but also a persistent if humble instigator. He loved his family, his home and community in Cambridge, Mass., and he had a deep commitment and boundless energy for university students and for efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons. Most of all, he was a wonderful person, the kind of person to whom it is quite difficult to say no, even when you should. He cared about you, the person sitting across from him in his office, and cared about the fate of humanity, and both are the better for it.”

Executive Director John Tierney said Aron was admired, loved and respected, and often relied upon for his insight and knowledge.

“He was quick to offer advice, and just as quick to offer and provide help. He will be greatly missed.”

Aron passed away January 14 after a short battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Susan Goldhor, his daughter Amy Bernstein, his son Dan Bernstein and daughter-in-law Efrat Levy, and his granddaughters Dara, Meirav, and Tali.

In lieu of flowers, the family has generously requested that donations be made to the Council, in his name. Using the link below, you can select that your gift be made in his memory and leave a note to be made public or kept private.