Bernice Myones of Seaford glowed as she watched her mother sing, clap and sway to the music as she and nearly 100 other residents of the Gurwin Jewish Geriatric Center in Commack helped celebrate her 108th birthday. Asked the secret of her mother's longevity, Myones, 71, chuckled.
"I wish I knew," she said. "I'd bottle it and sell it."
Her mother, Ann Kierstein, seated in a wheelchair and alert, offered no insight herself.
"You live naturally," she said.
Jewish agencies are mounting major initiatives to provide support services to the elderly Jews of the city, Long Island and Westchester as newly released figures by UJA-Federation show that the number of Jews 65 and older is continuing to increase.
UJA-Federation is helping to coordinate a letter-writing campaign in support of a city proposal to create a $5 million matching fund for support services to Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCS) in the city.