Miriam Bernstein-Cohen was born in Kishinev, Russian Empire. She grew up in Kharkov. After training as a medical doctor she enrolled in drama school. She studied with Konstantin Stanislavski in Moscow in 1918 before returning to Moldova as an actress, where she worked under the name Maria Alexandrova.
After immigrating to Palestine, Bernstein-Cohen settled in Tel Aviv and joined the country's first professional theater company. In 1925, she founded the first Hebrew-language periodical in Palestine dedicated to theater, Te'atron ve-Omanut.