By Sandy Eller – VIN News
Goldie Steinberg, the world’s oldest living Jewish person, died Sunday, just 75 days before her 115th birthday.
A resident of Grandell Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Long Beach for over eleven years, Mrs. Steinberg’s birthday was an annual celebration that attracted family members, members of the media, local elected officials and children from nearby yeshivas who came frequently to visit Grandell.
Mrs. Steinberg, who may have been the last survivor of the Kishinev progrom of 1903, came to America when she was 23 years old and lived in Bensonhurst for over seven decades, as previously reported by VIN News. Mrs. Steinberg, a former seamstress, was mentally sharp until the very end.
“There was no warning or anything,” Grandell administrator Moishe Heller told VIN News. “She wasn’t feeling well this morning and she didn’t want to eat breakfast or lunch. A doctor was called, her family was monitoring the situation and she passed peacefully, in her own bed, surrounded by family members.”
Mrs. Steinberg, who was listed as of today as the sixth oldest person in the world by Wikipedia, defied the odds year after year.
“Every year we thought that this was the last year we would have her, but she always pulled through,” said Heller.
Mrs. Steinberg was due to turn 115 on October 30th. She was photographed and interviewed just eleven days ago for inclusion in a large format coffee table book by photographer Paul Mobley titled American Wisdom about centenarians in all fifty states, due to be published in October 2016.
A popular fixture at Grandell, Mrs. Steinberg lived in the short term rehabilitation area, which had a younger population and typically had housed residents from the Orthodox Jewish community.
“We kept her there because of her age and her dignity,” said Heller. “It was so special. Everyone there got attached to her and she got very attached to them.. She always knew what was going on and always cared about the people around her. She cared about the other residents and the staff. It was amazing to see how she was a person who was always busy thinking of others.”
Mrs. Steinberg, who was very involved with her family, had told Heller that she felt that she had merited long years because of her two wonderful children.
“She told me she had never gotten a bracha from anyone, but she must have done something or gotten some kind of bracha to be zoche to a double arichus yomim, having both long years and having her mind working until the very end,” remarked Heller.
Mrs. Steinberg’s funeral is expected to take place on Tuesday.