The long list of accomplishments in Bernice Dinner’s life are surely noteworthy, but they do not capture the grace and receptivity — the listening ear, if you will — that she brought to every interaction. In this sense one might say that she lived what she cherished and professionally practiced.
An audiologist, Dinner founded that national nonprofit, Hear Now, to provide hearing aids and cochlear implants to people who could not afford them. It is said that a personality can impress itself on one’s looks, and vice-versa. In Bernice Dinner’s case, it was her sensitivity to the hearing-impaired and her standing up and doing something about it that impressed itself on her personality.
Not that one would necessarily make the connection. As a good listener, Dinner was much more interested in what you were doing than in telling you what she was doing. Some people who knew her for years did not realize the full scope of her reach until after she died.
Bernice Dinner was active in the Jewish community and outside of it. She was the president of two synagogues in two parts of the country and a practitioner at National Jewish and Rose. She was a president of more than one charity and a member of a host of Jewish organizations. She lived in many places on two continents. All this, and Bernice communicated with her trademark smile more than recounting all that she was involved in.
Bernice Dinner was one of those people who uphold a community, who put in the time — and thoroughly enjoy it. Her leadership and friendliness will be sorely missed. It’s really impossible to replace all of the diverse qualities and interests that coalesced in this one gem of a human being.
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