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Bebe L. Bernstein
General Information
Full Name: Bebe L. Bernstein
Date of Birth: February 9, 1927
Date of Death: April 22, 2020
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Life Story

February 9, 1927 to April 22, 2020. Bebe L. Bernstein died peacefully on April 22, 2020 with grace and dignity following a brief illness. She was an accomplished pianist, dancer (including ballet pointe and social dancing), singer, cook and seamstress. She participated in a writing class up to the time of her death, creating memoirs for her grandchildren, Bebe's most precious legacy. She had a wonderful appreciation for art , aesthetics, nature and Judaism. She recently celebrated her 93rd birthday on February 9, 2020 at a luncheon attended by her entire immediate family. She graduated from Brooklyn College, with a double major in Classics and Education, where she also earned her Masters in Education. She was most proud of her Doctorate in Education, earned when she was in her 50's, from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She began her teaching career as a Kindergarten Teacher. She was appointed the first Teacher of a Pre-Primary Special Education Class in the NYC Public Schools. Lacking existing resources, she created her own curriculum and teaching materials, which were later published as the standard textbooks in the field. With Jean Kennedy-Smith, she founded Very Special Arts NYC, under the auspices of the Kennedy Shriver Foundation. Bebe created VSA Festivals (the arts equivalent of the Special Olympics). attended by thousands pf physically and mentally challenged children and young adults, that ran for many years throughout NYC. As inscribed on her VSA Commerative Service Plaque. No one stands so tall as when she stoops to help a child. Bebe is survived by daughters Freya Bernstein Braff and Karen Belfer, and their husbands Martin Braff and Andrew Belfer, and grandchildren James Belfer, Gabriella Bernstein Mervis (and fiance Michael Wolson), Adam Belfer and Samantha Belfer (and fiance Eltan Braham). Her beloved husband Own of 57 years, predeceased her in 2011. Designated charities in Bebe's memory: Friends of Israeli Defense Forces, PO Box 4224, NY, NY 10163 or Karches Center for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research, 2000 Marcus Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11042

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Service Information
Date: Friday April 24, 2020
Time: 1:30 PM
Interment Information
New Montefiore Cemetery, 1180 Wellwood Avenue, West Babylon, NY 11704