By Maia Rabenold
Marija Krupoves said she thought there must have been angels flying nearby when she met the love of her life in 2006.
She was invited by the IU Jewish Studies department to lecture at the Indiana Memorial Union on the cultural life of the Vilna Ghetto in her Lithuanian hometown.
After her presentation, which included her singing a few songs, she went to the elevator on the first floor and ran into Daniel Berg, a man she had seen in the audience.
“We were talking and talking and time somehow stopped,” Krupoves said. “The elevator would not come, and no people showed up.”
One thing led to another. They met several more times and were soon married, Krupoves said. Berg, a renowned doctor in Bloomington, Bedford and Batesville, died in January 2015. He founded Promptcare Physicians Clinic in 1984, which is now IU Health Urgent Care Center.
“It was a big love,” Krupoves said. “Especially during the last years of his life, everyone could tell that my husband looked like a happy man.”
Krupoves has arranged a memorial concert, “I Love You More Than Much,” for her late husband at 7 p.m. tonight at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Auditorium. Joining her onstage will be Shaun Williams on the cimbalum, Tomas Lozano on guitar and hurdy gurdy, Svetla Vladeva on the bayan accordion and Diederick van Wassenaer on the violin.
The concert consists of Jewish music mixed with songs from other European countries. Hebrew prayers, Yiddish songs from Eastern Europe and Spanish ballads are all on the program.
“It creates a very special kind of beauty when two different cultures or faiths meet and become transparent to each other,” Krupoves said. “It shows what is common to all the people, but it also shows the uniqueness of every culture and the ability to create a new beauty.”
Berg said she enjoyed this kind of music and always supported Krupoves in her musical career. His family and friends would make jokes about how whenever Krupoves would sing, he would hush everyone in the room and sit in rapt attention.
“Most of the songs are about heavenly love meeting with earthly love in the most profound and beautiful sense,” Krupoves said.
Berg was a doctor who cared deeply for his patients, Krupoves said. He knew each of his patients by name and even knew their pets by name. He treated everyone with respect and often would treat patients free of charge.
Krupoves said she admired Berg for being like a noble knight, even when he was tired or not in a good mood. He was ready at all times of the day or night for the call to help people.
Vladeva said she first met Berg at a party, and she was telling him about her daughter’s medical problems, that caused them to travel to the hospital every week for treatment, when he touched her heart with a kind gesture.
“I was sharing that anxiety that I had in my life at the time, and Daniel gave me his phone number and said, ‘You call me, even if it’s in the middle of the night.’” Vladeva said. “That was the first time we met, so it just brought me to tears. What a wonderful man.”
His patients would always remember Berg, Krupoves said. They were often approached by people when they were out in Bloomington who would thank him for saving their lives. After Berg’s death, a group of patients Berg had treated sent Krupoves a card calling him “amigo con todos,” or the friend of everyone.
Krupoves said she hopes everyone who knew Daniel, especially his former patients, will come to the concert.
“I’m expecting people to remember the goodness of someone who’s not here, to see the fruits of good deeds and to celebrate love,” Krupoves said.