Ber, Dr. Abram
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"A Place for Everything;
Everything in its Place"
Dr. Abram Ber was born on July 14, 1940 in Bacau, Romania. He was the only child of Freda and David as the war prevented his parents from having another child. After the death of his parents he was told by a family friend that the only reason his mother survived while pregnant with him was that a Romanian soldier took pity on her and removed her and his father from a line of Jews who were about to be deported to Transnistria, the Romanian concentration camp. Abe's grandfather, Hershel, perished in that camp.
Abe and his parents were slated to escape Romania on the ill-fated ship, the Struma, but his father changed his mind. The Struma was torpedoed off the coast of Turkey and only one person survived.
Abe and his parents left Romania for Milan, Italy, in 1947 on the second to the last flight prior to the Communist takeover. The flight after theirs hit the Carpathian Mountains and all aboard the plane died.
Abe and his parents lived in Milan for nearly five years. Abe attended the Hebrew day school, Alessandro da Fano. By the time they left Italy, Abe was fluent in Italian. With his parents he spoke Yiddish and Romanian.
In 1951, Abe and his parents left Europe aboard the American Navy ship, the USS General Stewart, and landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They settled in Montreal, Canada and lived there for 26 years. There Abe became proficient in English. French was a compulsory second language.
Abe attended Outremont High School and then went to McGill University where he obtained his Bachelor of Science and then his Medical Degree (1966). He interned and completed a year of Internal Medicine at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. He trained in anesthesiology at the Royal Victoria Hospital as well as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He became Board Certified in Anesthesiology.
In 1974, he left the practice of anesthesiology and took over a recently deceased physician's general practice.
In 1975, he became interested in holistic medicine after a patient gave him a book on Vitamin E.
In December 1977, he moved with his family (wife and 2 sons) to Phoenix, Arizona, to join the A.R.E. Clinic that was run by Drs. Bill and Gladys McGarey. In 1978, Abe opened his own practice and became a leader in the holistic medical movement.
In 1982, when the Homeopathic Medical Board was established, he became the first medical doctor to be licensed by the board. His license number was 001.
He served as a member of the Homeopathic Board (now known as the Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Board) and also for several terms as the President of the Homeopathic Association (now the Arizona Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association).
Dr. Abram Ber lived committed to a holistic lifestyle as he himself had many allergies and, as a result of the severe stresses incurred, suffered with very poor adrenal function that required medication. He read the holistic medical journals, was always studying, and was up on the latest strategies and protocols.
He was profoundly affected by the Holocaust whose impact permeated his very core. The immense sorrow he suffered never left him, and created within him a deep desire to be of help to others. His charitable contributions were more than 50% of his income. He gave away millions of dollars to help orphanages in Israel, Talmudic academies, and was a significant contributor to Chabad.
Dr. Ber identified with Albert Einstein's saying "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."
He was predeceased by his son, Eli, who was a naturopathic physician. Eli's suffering with Crohn's disease for 25 years and his final suffering and struggle with cancer left Dr. Abram Ber totally broken-hearted.
He was happily married to his second wife, Beth, whom he considered his best friend and a true 'Aishes Chayil,' a woman of valor. And, he maintained a warm and caring relationship with his first wife, Moselle Benjamin.
He left behind his firstborn son, Hershel, and his family as well as the wife and children of his son Eli.
Funeral services were held at Mt. Sinai Cemetery in Phoenix on June 24, 2014. Arrangements by Sinai Mortuary.
Many were his friends both in the holistic world and his thousands of patients and his beloved Jewish people
Click here to view the notice as it appeared in print.
Sinai Mortuary of AZ
4538 N. 16th Street Phoenix, AZ 85016
Published in The Arizona Republic on June 29, 2014