By Miriam Rosenberg
After taking it around the room for all to see, everyone gets a piece of birthday cake.
Helen Kamen, the mother of two, grandmother of four and great grandmother of five, was honored by Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, city representatives and fellow residents with proclamations, music, lunch and a cake as her 106th birthday was celebrated at JASA – Brookdale Village in Far Rockaway on July 31.
Kamen, born on September 8, 1899 in Ligum, Lithuania came to the United States at the young age of 13.
“She came on the ship the “George Washington” through Ellis Island,” said her granddaughter Lisa Wexler. “They settled in Uncasville, Connecticut. They had a farm.”
In presenting a State Assembly proclamation in honor of Helen Kamen, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer said she was pleased to share in “this wonderful celebration of life.” In October 1924 she married her husband Benjamin, and they settled down to run a mattress company in Brooklyn. They eventually moved to Forest Hills and then to the Rockaways.
Wexler described her grandparents as modern, or traditional, orthodox. She also told The Wave that her grandfather started the shul in Brookdale Village.
Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer shows off the State Assembly proclamation as she poses with the family for a photo. Also pictured are Kamen’s granddaughters Jill Zarin and Lisa Wexler and great grandchildren John and Joanna. A proclamation from the mayor and department of aging was also presented.
Photos by Miriam Rosenberg In presenting the State Assembly proclamation to Kamen, Pheffer said she believed it was the first time the assembly has recognized a birthday celebration of 106 years.
Several partygoers, including her granddaughters, form a circle as they dance to Jewish music around Kamen. Big band music, such as by Glenn Miller, was also played during the afternoon. Pheffer called the party “a wonderful celebration of life.”
Another proclamation marking the occasion came from the mayor and the department of aging.
A widow, Kamen has lived in Brookdale Village for the last 25 years.
|The birthday girl and her granddaughter Lisa Wexler.