01 March 2010

Australia: Oldest Jewish person turns 109

Tracing the Tribe notes the 109th birthday of the oldest Jewish person in Australia.

The Australian Jewish News reported that Mary Rothstein celebrated her birthday Sunday in a Jewish Care home for the aged in Melbourne. Among the guests were her daughter, Ruth Cavallaro, two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Born in Russia on February 27, 1901, moved to the UK at 2, married Joe Rothstein in 1935 and migrated to Australia in 1958. She ran her own millinery business and made hats for the royal family before the move. In Australia, she worked at the famous Myer department store. She said she only lied about her age once to avoid a mandatory retirement at 65.

Rothstein can't understand why she's lived so long. "It doesn't seem possible," she told the paper.

Rosa Rein, who was the world's oldest Jewish person, died in Switzerland at 112 in early February.

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