Family members and neighbors came together, Tuesday afternoon, to pay tribute and their last respect to the head of the family – Evelyn (Chava Rivkah) Kozak – who was the world’s oldest living Jewish person, and the seventh-oldest living person in the world. Mrs. Kovak passed away Tuesday morning in Maimonides hospital after suffering a heart attack on Monday.
Evelyn Kozak was born on the Lower East Side on Aug. 14, 1899, to wealthy parents who emigrated from Russia. She grew up in Flatbush on Farragut rd. at a time when no Jewish family owned a house in the neighborhood. She ran a boardinghouse in Miami until she was 90 and avidly played NY Times Scrabble until she was 95. In January of 2010, after suffering a stroke, she returned to Brooklyn and moved in with a granddaughter — and eight great-grandchildren under 13 — in the Kensington section of Brooklyn until her last day on earth, two months before she was supposed to celebrate with her grandchildren and great grandchildren her 114th birthday.
“People came over for blessings knowing how effective her brochos would be,” Sarah Polon, a granddaughter told YWN. “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 levaya.
While she may be remembered for her long life, it’s her caring for others her family wants as an inheritance for people to remember about her. “She cared for every person no matter race or color, type of Jew, affiliation or level of frumkeit. She cared about the human being. She cared about the good,” Ms. Polon said.
Chava Rivkah Kozak, who was laid to rest in Queens Tuesday afternoon, is survived by her son, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
(Jacob Kornbluh -YWN)