Perched on a white throne, her feet dangling inches from the floor, a petite Goldie Steinberg savored a slice of chocolate cake as her 113th birthday party drew to a close.
Minutes earlier, Steinberg had been surrounded by dozens of reporters, local school children, politicians, family members, friends and staff of the Grandell Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Long Beach.
“I’m very happy,” she told them.
Steinberg lived on her own in Bensonhurst until she was 104, but since moving to the Grandell in 2004, the center has thrown a birthday party for her each year. Born on Oct. 30, 1900 in Romania, Steinberg is the 14th oldest person in the world, the ninth oldest in the United States and second oldest in New York, according to the California-based Gerontology Research Group.
“She’s just a wonderful person that’s the biggest inspiration to us,” said Grandell administrator Moishe Heller.
Students from Shulamith School for Girls in Cedarhurst and the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach sang “Happy Birthday” to Steinberg and delivered her handmade cards. She also received a medal and citations from Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and the Town of Hempstead, as well as a New York Yankees cap and blanket.
“We both love the Yankees,” said Steinberg’s great grandson, Tyler Kutner, 10, of Massapequa Park. “We have a lot in common .?.?. She’s an amazing, kind, lovely little lady.”
When she’s not watching her favorite baseball team on TV, Steinberg also likes to read and she knits every day. After immigrating to the United States in 1923, Steinberg worked as a seamstress until she retired at 83.
“Throughout her life, she’s always been an active and hardworking person,” said her grandson, Peter Kutner, 43, of Massapequa Park.
Kutner said his grandmother never owned a driver’s license, so she walked everywhere. She has also voted in every election since 1924.
He said researchers have taken Steinberg’s blood to study it in hopes of finding out the secret to her longevity, but when asked why she’s made it to 113, she says, “Because I have very good children.”