update deskU.S. News

World’s oldest Jew, Pearl Berg, dies at age 114

She belonged to many organizations and was a staunch supporter of Israel.

Pearl Berg
Pearl Berg. Credit: Gerontology Research Group.

Pearl Berg, the ninth oldest person in the world, the third oldest person in the United States and the oldest Jewish person, died on Feb. 1 at her home in Los Angeles. She was 114 years old.

She was born on Oct. 1, 1909, in Evansville, Ind., to Archie Synenberg and Annie Gerson. Raised in Pittsburgh, she later moved with her family—she had a sister and a brother—to Los Angeles, where she met her future husband.

In 1931, she married Mark Berg, a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine who worked as an investor and businessman. The couple had two sons, Dr. Alan Paul Berg and Robert Joel Berg.

After the death of her husband in 1989, Berg joined a book club, regularly attended concerts and plays, and became more involved with a bridge group, according to the Gerontology Research Group, which studies “supercentenarians” and confirms their ages. She drove until her mid-90s.

As a member of the Sisterhood of Temple Israel of Hollywood (she joined the synagogue in 1937), she wrote “notes to bereaved families on behalf of the temple, which she continued to do until the age of 105,” according to the GRC, as reported in The Los Angeles Times.

Bergl contributed to such Jewish organizations as the Nordea Chapter of Hadassah and the Sisterhood of Temple Israel of Hollywood. She was also a staunch supporter of Israel.

In addition to her children, she is survived by a grandchild, Belinda Berg.

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