On June 21, staff from The New Jewish Home’s Kittay Senior Apartments pulled out all the stops to throw the birthday bash of the century celebrating the lives of 14 tenants who turn 100 years or older in 2019. Together, these special New Yorkers have lived for more than 1,416 years.
From home-grown Bronxites and Brooklynites, to immigrants from Russia and Hungary, our centenarians came from all walks of life. The wisdom of their years taught them the importance of being open and having a positive outlook. Included in the group were Max Bendich, 104, the oldest World War II veteran living in the Bronx, and pioneering marriage therapist, Dr. Laura Singer-Magdoff, 102, who shared, “I want people to learn and remember love is stronger than fear and that we are all human and we are all connected.”
All 14 centenarians, including the actual birthday girl, Lucy Reavis, who turned 100 on June 21, were on hand for the party decked out in their “Sunday best.” More than 100 family and friends joined the celebrants for a giant cake, refreshments, music and gifts.
In his welcoming remarks, our President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Farber, said, “Congratulations to all of you for reaching this incredible milestone. It is a privilege to celebrate all that you have accomplished. We are thrilled that you continue to thrive and live lives filled with purpose at Kittay Senior Apartments. This event not only speaks to Jewish Home values of affirming dignity and extending welcome, it moves us closer towards our vision of a new reality in which ageism is no longer and society embraces its older adult members.”
Moved by this incredible milestone, many local elected and government officials stopped by or sent congratulatory messages including, Congress Member Adriano Espaillat; NYS Senator Alessandra Biaggi; NYS Assembly Member Nathalia Fernandez; Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz; NYC Council Member Fernando Cabrera; NYC Council Member Andrew Cohen; the NYC Department for the Aging and Community Board 7.
The highlight of the party was a beautiful and moving video presentation that celebrated the lives of each centenarian through family photos that spanned two centuries. Set to music of the 1940s, the video provided an intimate glimpse into their wonderful lives. And a very happy birthday it was!
Celebrating 100+ birthdays at Kittay in 2019 are:
Selma Ain – 103 years old
Vilma Beck – 100 years old
Max Bendich – 104 years old
Lillian Fraum – 102 years old
Anita Grossman – 101 years old
Blanche Hardbrod – 100 years old
Beatrice “Billie” Karchmer – 100 years old
Lucy Reavis – 100 years old
Mildred Ronin – 101 years old
Dr. Laura Singer-Magdoff – 102 years old
Gale Stein – 102 years old
Saul Volin – 101 years old
Miriam Wurzel – 101 years old
A 14th publicity-shy member of the Kittay community turned 101 years old this year.
To watch the amazing TV coverage of the party, click here.