Caroline Gruss Dead at 76
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Caroline Gruss Dead at 76

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Caroline Gruss, who, with her husband Joseph Gruss, was a leading benefactor of Jewish education in the United States and Israel, died at home Wednesday after a long illness. She was 76. Funeral services will be held here Friday. Her body will be flown to Israel for burial Sunday at the Mount of Olives.

Born in Poland, Gruss was trained as a lawyer at the University of Lvov, where she also studied classical languages, She and her husband came to the United States in 1937. A few years later, Gruss founded Gruss and Company, a member of the New York Stock Exchange and a successful investment firm.

Endowments from the Grusses have made the couple’s names synonymous with Jewish education around the world. At Yeshiva University, the Caroline and Joseph Gruss Center in Jerusalem is a modern, five-acre complex designed as a permanent campus-home for the programs in Israel of the university and its affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary(RIETS).

The benefaction of Caroline and Joseph Gruss also created the Caroline and Joseph Gruss Post-Graduate Kollel (Institute for Advanced Talmudic Research) and the supplemental Faculty Salaries Fund at RIETS and rededicated the new RIETS Beth Hamidrash (study hall).

The Grusses are listed as Benefactors and Century Benefactors of Yeshiva University and Founders of the university’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Joseph Gruss serves as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.


The Grusses also established and expanded several Jewish schools, especially Toras Emes Kaminetz, the United Lubavitcher Yeshiva, and the Bais Yaakov School.

Under the auspices of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, the Grusses established the Joseph and Caroline Gruss Scholarship Fund for Jewish Education and the Joseph and Caroline Gruss Excellent Teachers Fund, Life Insurance Fund, Medical Benefit Fund, Fashion Institute of Technology Fund, School Building Renovation Fund, and Live Monument Fund and Federation.

Other institutions that have benefitted from the charity of the Grusses include New York University, where the Caroline and Joseph Gruss Chair of Talmudic and Civil Law and the Caroline and Joseph Gruss Talmudic Civil Law Library were established; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which acquired a 33-foot-long “Medallion Ushak” carpet through the generosity of Caroline and Joseph Gruss.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund