Bernard Gross (Baruch Bendit) peacefully left this world to join his beloved wife and son, Ruth and Marvin, on April 8, erev Pesach. He was born on Simchat Torah, Oct. 22, 1922, in Polanka, Czechoslovakia, the third of seven children.
Bernie, a Holocaust survivor, was conscripted into the Hungarian Munkatabor at age 19. On Aug. 12, 1945, he attended a wedding where he met the love of his life, Ruth (Rivka). They escaped from the Soviet Union by hopping a freight train. In 1949, they immigrated to Ellwood City, Pa. They raised their children in Youngstown, Ohio, where Bernie worked for his brothers’ business, Albee Homes. And they moved to Atlanta in 1973, where they opened “Bernie’s Tailor Shop.”
Bernie was an artist in his tailoring, a skill which he learned from his father.
After retiring, Bernie and Ruth moved to Pembroke Pines, Fla., where they lived for 22 years, before returning to Atlanta in 2010. They were members of Beth Jacob in Atlanta, and later attended Congregation B’nai Torah. Bernie was a founding member and president of Young Israel of Pembroke Pines. Tzedakah, Jewish tradition, and religious observance were the foundation of their lives. They were married for 69 years.
Bernie was also incredibly musically gifted and could have been a cantor. Even at an advanced age, he was debonair in his dress, had a twinkle in his eye, a sheepish grin, and a wry sense of humor. His mother used to call him her “gut schtekel broyt” (good stick of bread).
He said that he wanted to be remembered “as trying to do the right thing, to be a good person, and that he went to shul once in a while” (by which he meant twice a day).
He was predeceased by his wife Ruth; son, Marvin; brothers, Philip, Ben, Bill and Sam; and his parents, who died in the Holocaust, Chaim Akiva and Etta.
Bernie leaves behind his brother Alex; sister Rosalyn; his much-loved children Edward, Estelle and Etja; daughter-in-law Linda; son-in-law Alan; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; and a large, loving extended family. Special thanks to The William Bremen Jewish Home for taking amazing care of him during the coronavirus crisis. Donations may be made to Congregation B’nai Torah, the William Bremen Jewish Home, and amitchildren.org. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.