Whatever Israelis think of his politics, most agree that President Shimon Peres is a national wonder. At 88 he is the world’s oldest de-jure head of state, and seems to have endless energy. Just last night, he stood proud at the state’s Yom Hashoah event and told his own family’s story, movingly, with the energy of a much younger man.
And it turns out that a few years down the line, you may have the secret of long life implanted in you in the form of a Shimon Peres gene.
Dr. Fred Goldman, who celebrated his 100th birthday on December 11, is still going strong — not by relaxing in retirement, but by working. Goldman is the oldest licensed physician practicing medicine in Ohio.
The doctor still works three full days a week, seeing patients in his non-computerized office (he calls it “the dump”), and in their homes. “If they’re sick and can’t leave home, I go to see them,” he told a reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
This will be news to residents of southern Florida, but it turns out that Ashkenazi Jews, as a group, don’t actually live longer than the rest of the population. Nevertheless, shared genetic traits have made Ashkenazim a compelling subject for scientific study, including in a fascinating project outlined in the newest edition of New York magazine.
In one of the more charming, thought-provoking articles you’re likely to read this week, the magazine’s latest issue examines the Longevity Genes Project at New York City’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where researchers Nir Barzilai and Gil Atzmon have been examining so-called “SuperAgers” — men and women who have made it past age 95 without serious medical problems. The article focuses in particular on members of the Kahn family, two brothers and two sisters who all became centenarians, surely making them one of the oldest sets of siblings in human history.
We personally think it’s the power of complaining.
But to learn why some Ashkenazim live so long, researchers at Cornell University are about to start studying the stem cells of about a dozen older Jews.
According to the New York Post — in a story headlined “Bouncing bubbes of New York” — many Ashkenazi Jews “live to 100 without disease despite smoking, drinking and eating fatty foods.”
You've successfully signed up!
Thank you for subscribing.
Please provide the following optional information to enable us to serve you better.
The Forward will not sell or share your personal information with any other party.
Thank you for signing up.Close