THEN & NOW: Birdie and Josiah Benator
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THEN & NOW: Birdie and Josiah Benator

As an Atlanta Jewish Times tradition, we spotlight some of the city’s most optimistic and fun-loving couples who share how they met and their secrets to longstanding marriage.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

Birdie and Josiah Benator
Birdie and Josiah Benator

Years Married: 75
August 1947
Location: Or VeShalom Synagogue

How did you meet?
Josiah: When I was 14, living on Pryor Street, Birdie’s parents, whose mother taught Hebrew, asked me to tutor Birdie, who was only 10. Her parents gave me a quarter for each session. We met at this young age, but there was nothing romantic yet. We met again when I was visiting my sister in New York before the beginning of World War II. When I returned from the war, the Office of Veterans’ Services hosted a veterans’ banquet and invited Birdie to join me as my date. Birdie’s mother allowed her to fly all the way from L.A. to be with family and attend the banquet. A few days later, the family threw a party and said that I should marry Birdie. They celebrated our engagement before I even asked her to marry me. It was an arranged engagement!

Initial attraction?
Birdie: I liked the idea that he was serving his country. He knew how to earn a living and how to keep a family together. During the war, we wrote love letters.
Josiah: Birdie loved to kiss and so did I!

Birdie: Be very thoughtful and patient. Occasionally say “You win” before an argument starts.
Josiah: I always say, “Yes dear, whatever you say!” and don’t argue. Whatever she wants to do is what she wants to do.

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