Sara Fishman, a resident of Maple Pointe Senior Living in Rockville Centre, celebrated her 100th birthday last Thursday with members of her family and local elected officials.
She was born in Brooklyn in 1923 and has lived on Long Island for more than 50 years. Her parents, Hyman and Molly Ashkenazi, emigrated from Crimea when the Czar and his Cossacks confiscated their business and home. It is a similar story as the one depicted in “Fiddler on the Roof,” except her father owned a business that sold pots and pans.
Fishman is one of 19 children who were born from the same mother, and grew up living with 7 sisters, 5 brothers and her grandmother, Esther Purim, who lived to be 114 years old.
She married her husband, Abraham Fishman, just after he joined the United States Army. She traveled with him throughout the south while he was in training, before he was deployed to Okinowa, Japan during World War II. They were truly a “couple-in-love” for more than 40 years until his untimely passing in the 80s.
Fishman graduated from Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn and had a very long career as a full-time bookkeeper before and after being a full-time mom to her three-children. She is also a grandmother who enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
She has been a big fan of everything entertainment, beginning at a very young age. When she was 9 years old, she decided to sneak into amovie and a vaudeville show afterschool. Her entire family was traumatized after spending hours looking for her until she leisurely came home. If she has an addiction, it would be watching films from the 1930s and 1940s on Turner Classic Movies. She also loves listening to classic crooners like Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Theodore Bikel who sings Russian Gypsy songs.
She is an accomplished pianist and can play music from Beethoven to the Beatles. In fact, in the early 1960s she learned to play the guitar just to jam with her children’s friends.
Fishman is also a fine artist. One of her favorite oil paintings was exhibited for six months in the Merrick Library.
If she can find a group of players, she has her card, and is always up for a game of mahjong. For years, she also played a weekly game of Canasta with the women she called — her girls.
Always interested in new technology and interacting with people, she is on Facebook daily “with attitude.” People love her take on things and if you ask her, she’ll tell you she still has all her marbles.
To celebrate this milestone, Fishman was presented with citations from Mayor Francis Murray of Rockville Centre and New York state Senator Kevin Thomas.