“When I was young, my great-grandmother Rachel—Grandma Rae, we called her—was the oldest person I’d ever met.
She’d passed through New York’s Ellis Island as a child in 1906, at 6 or so years old, after escaping the pogroms in Russia. She wasn’t quite sure of her birth date. Then she settled in Brooklyn, outlived her husband by more than 50 years and became the oldest member of a large family of second- and third- and then fourth-generation American Jews. Well into her 80s, she worked as a bookkeeper in my grandfather’s office…..”
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