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Featured Scholarship

Barbara Best and Bernard Klein Social Justice Scholarship

The Klein family established this scholarship to honor their parents, Barbara Best Klein and Bernard L. Klein, whose life-long commitment to social justice has always been an inspiration to them. 

Bernard was the son of Jewish immigrants, whose large family struggled to make ends meet. He started working part-time by age 10 to help support the family. Although he took some college courses – including at The City College of New York – Bernard never graduated, which he always regretted. 

During the 30’s and 40’s, Barbara and Bernard worked for labor unions, where they met. Moving to New York after college, Barbara participated in anti-eviction actions keeping people from getting thrown out of their apartments because they could not pay their rent. Together they marched in many picket lines and demonstrations to promote social justice, including the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War Peace Movement.

As their family began to grow, Barbara became a social worker, working for an adoption agency specializing in finding homes for those who were hardest to place, due to their age, disabilities or multi-racial background. Bernard worked with an organization to prevent the deportation of immigrants for their political views, and was active in district electoral politics in our neighborhood, just northwest of CCNY. 

In the 60’s and 70’s they organized and marched for the civil right struggle and against the Vietnam War.  Their last two decades were spent in Beacon, NY, where Barbara served on the Library Board and Bernard organized a committee that reformed the city charter.

The Barbara Best and Bernard Klein Social Justice Scholarship, for students who wish to dedicate their lives to working for social justice, honor this couple’s commitment to that struggle. 

Eligibility:

  • Recipient selection is based on a combination of merit and need-based criteria, including but not limited to the following:
  • A rising junior or senior student
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average
  • If the awardee is a junior, the scholarship may be renewed for the senior year if grade point average is above 3.0
  • Demonstrated financial need (as determined through scholarships and bursars offices)
  • A commitment to a career with a social justice mission as evidenced by courses taken (including but not limited exclusively to immigration law, community organizing, community health, public education, and generally, community improvement and human rights.)

Application Process:

To apply for the scholarship, students will be required to submit a letter detailing their career ambitions, as well as how this support will complement career ambitions related to the values of social justice. Once selected, the student will receive a statement from the Klein Family about Barbara and Bernard