Thursday, June 13, 2013

Oldest Jewish Person Dies in Kensington Brooklyn

Evelyn Kozak
Evelyn (Chava Rivkah) Kozak was mourned by family and friends after passing away this past Tuesday morning in the Maimonides Medical Center. She was just short of 114 years old, making her the oldest Jewish person, and the seventh oldest person in the world.

Mrs. Kozak had a long life full of blessings, said her granddaughter Sarah Polon. Evelyn was born on the Lower East Side on August 14, 1899 to a wealthy family from Russia. She spent her childhood on Farragut Road in Flatbush, which was a time when there were no Jewish home owners in the area. She moved to Florida, and ran a boardinghouse in Miami until she was 90 years old. She was a big fan of NY Times Scrabble and played until she was 95. In the winter of 2010 Evelyn suffered a stroke and moved back to Brooklyn, to the Kensington neighborhood, where she lived with her granddaughter and eight great-grandchildren.

“People came over for blessings knowing how effective her brochos (blessings) would be,” Sarah Polon, her granddaughter said. “People asked her what her secret is. A good conscience, she used to respond.”

“She gave everything from herself, even her best clothing,” her grandson said during his eulogy at the funeral.
Mrs. Kozak may hold the record for living a long life, her family would prefer if she were remembered for her good deeds and acts of kindness.

“She cared for every person no matter race or color, type of Jew, affiliation or level of frumkeit, (religiosity). She cared about the human being. She cared about the good,” Ms. Polon said.