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Centenarian beat the system – by remaining a part of it

March, 2010

The opera Don Quixote premiered the day Joe Moldovam was born. Moldovam, whose Hebrew name is Yossel Meyer, spent his 100th birthday at home in Century Village, Deerfield Beach, Fla., where he is mentored by Sam Rappapport and Leo Guttman of the Côte St. Luc Seniors Members Club.

Moldovam and his brother immigrated to the United States from Hungary. Landing in New York City, he soon got work in the laundry and dry-cleaning business.

Over the course of his 30-year career, he lived in three New York boroughs before retiring to Century Village with his wife.

“I have worked all my life, and when I retired down here, I was bored, so I decided to go back to work,” Moldovam said.

The work he chose in retirement was cleaning houses, a business he built to include 60 clients.

It wasn’t until he was in his 70s that Moldovam hung up his mop and broom and put the vacuum cleaner back in the closet.

Joe Moldavam (left) discusses his longevity with Sam Rappaport, Sid Birns, and Leo Guttman. Photo: Jack Frank

Moldovam remains active in Beth Israel Synagogue, attending temple nearly every day and keeping track of those who don’t make it, because they need to have a minyan (a quorum of 10 Jewish men) in order to conduct certain religous services.

Moldovam’s birthday is February 19, and the synagogue feted him on February 20.

In answer to the inevitable question of his longevity, he said: “Well, it was time. I beat the system.

“I just kept on working even after I retired.”



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