Polish bibliophile and writer on proverbs; born at Vinnitza, government of Podolia, Jan. 30, 1836, where his father Samson had an important banking business. He was educated by the learned Moses Landau, son of Rabbi Samuel and grandson of R. Ezekiel Landau of Prague. In 1856 he married Eliza, the daughter of Meïr Edler von Mises of Lemberg; and in 1858 he removed with his parents to Warsaw, where he still resides, ranking among the prominent members of the Jewish community. In 1881, at his instance, a library of Jewish books was founded in connection with the Great Synagogue of Warsaw. Bernstein from the beginning took an active part in the management of the library and is now its chairman. He did much useful work in collecting proverbs of all nations. In 1888-89 his "Jüdische Sprichwörter"—a collection of Judæo-German proverbs—were published in the "Hausfreund," Warsaw; and in 1900 he published a remarkable illustrated catalogue of his library of about 4,800 works on proverbs, folk-lore, ethnography, etc., accompanying the list with valuable explanatory notes. This catalogue is unique in its way, being also a typographical art book. Many titles and ornaments of the more ancient works are reproduced from the originals. The full title of the catalogue is "Katalog Dziel Tresci Przyslowiowej Skladajacych Biblioteke Ignacego Bernsteina," 2 vols., Warsaw. He is now (1902) preparing a new and enlarged edition of his Judæo-German proverbs.
- S. Orgelbrand, Encyklopedya Powsiechna, ii., Warsaw, 1898; and private sources.