Have you wondered at the secret to healthy living to 100—or even 106 or 107? Spry, diminutive, sparkly blue-eyed Eleanore Rubinstein (z”l) knows. As Cedar Sinai’s oldest resident, she turned 107 on April 23rd! Yet she keeps so busy she has little time to ponder an answer. If you listen closely, though, clues drop forth like pearls on a strand.
“I don’t know why I stay well,” she remarks. “The body certainly isn’t quite what it used to be. I’m not golfing anymore, that’s for sure!” In her spare, neat apartment decorated with five generations of photos, she watches golf on TV though… along with her alternate favorite, baseball. “I love baseball, I played it as much as I could when I was young.” Tennis also. Well past the age of 90, in fact.
And while other centenarians might despair at outliving their spouse, contemporaries and friends, not Eleanore. “There’s nobody left of my era,” she admits, her voice still steady. “They’re no longer here. For the life of me, I don’t understand it. I did nothing to deserve it. I can only say, I’ve had a lot of help.” She points up toward what could only be described as the heavens. “I’m deeply Jewish. I’m not religious, but I’m deeply Jewish. My whole life, almost entirely with no exception has been good: just good things.”
Born in New York in 1913, Eleanore’s family moved to Portland when she was seven and her father landed a job at Meier and Frank. She was an only child. “My father wanted a boy, and my mother wanted a girl. I was pretty much my father’s son! Fortunately for him, I was very physical. That was a little difficult for my mom, she was very dainty. But they never stopped me from doing anything I wanted to do.”