Bernard Baskin graduated from Brooklyn College of the Jewish Institute of Religion, before moving to Hamilton in 1949 as rabbi at Temple Anshe Sholom.
He believes in community life, serving the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Board of Governors of McMaster University and Hamilton Public Library, Hamilton United Nations Association, Kiwanis Club, Optimist Club, Rotary Club, Social Planning and Research Council, and Torch Club.
Rabbi Baskin and Mayor Lloyd D. Jackson were the first recipients of the B'nai B'rith Humanitarian Award. In 1963, he was named Hamilton's Jewish Community Man of the Year, he received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Hebrew Union College in New York. He was chairman of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews and was made an Honorary Big Brother. His exemplary service to Hamilton, his adopted home, has continued unabated for over four decades.