Evelyn Kozak, the world’s oldest Jew, and a former resident of Pittsburgh, died at the age of 113, Tuesday, June 11, after suffering a heart attack.
For her 110th birthday — she was living at Charles Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at the time — Kozak was honored in grand style. With reporters and photographers looking on, Kozak sat in the aviary of the Charles Morris and listened as Pittsburgh City Council President Doug Shields read a City Council Proclamation designating Aug. 14 as Evelyn Kozak Day.
Kozak’s family escaped from Russia due to anti-Semitism in the late 19th century.
According to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, an organization that validates the ages of supercentenarians, Kozak was the world’s oldest documented Jewish person and the seventh-oldest person in the world.
“As old as she was, we really expected her to live forever,” her granddaughter Brucha Weisberger told the Associated Press. Kozak had five children, 10 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson. See next week’s Chronicle for an extended news obituary on Kozak.