Resident Spotlight – Edythe Bienstock
Meet our Resident Spotlight of March, Edythe Beinstock. Edythe came to The Kensington in November of 2018. Edythe is our most “experienced” resident at 101 years young! She has lived through 18 presidents, the Great Depression, several wars, and many firsts including the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight. In 1920, she experienced for the first time a woman’s right to vote and then years later voted for the first woman presidential nominee.
Edythe was married to Nathan Hausfather. Together they had four children – three sons and a daughter. She also has nine grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Edythe’s first husband passed away in 1984. Later in life (she was 75 and he was 81) she married Ruben Bienstock and through that marriage she inherited two more children.
Edythe and Nathan raised their family in Freeport, New York. Nathan owned a restaurant called, The Meatball in Manhattan, across from Madison Square Garden. While Nathan tended to the restaurant, Edythe gave dance lessons to children in their home. She also danced with a few local groups. Besides dancing for pleasure and fitness, Edythe’s daughter Robin recalls her Mom exercising every day.
Edythe began figure skating in her forties. When she felt she was good enough, she started giving skating lessons to young children. And she took figure skating tests as required (a skating thing). She skated at least two days a week, usually more though. While she was figure skating Edythe never gave up dancing and continued to take lessons. There is no doubt Edythe loved to keep moving and stay fit. He daughter recalls how she would do floor exercises every single day, well into her 90’s. She added, “Probably as long as she could get off of the floor – I often remember her burning dinner while doing exercises.”
When Edythe moved to Florida in 1980/81, she joined a traveling dance troupe at Wynmoor that went around locally and gave performances. She also was involved with ball room dancing and so was her husband. Edythe’s daughter Robin tells this writer that although Nathan was overweight, he was pretty light on his feet. They would often take family trips for the weekend to the Catskills where they loved to dance. One of the hotels even had a skating rink so Edythe could pursue all her indulgences.
Edythe did a lot of community service as well. She and her husband belonged to a temple and were very much involved with B’nai Brith, an organization committed to combating Antisemitism and bigotry. Edythe and Nathan and other used to send books to Mississippi. Their son would be the one to deliver them in a time when the penalty was lynching or jail-time.
Edythe was very involved in community service and helping others, she also helped in an orphanage as well as many other organizations.
Edythe was always very active socially and that life continued with her second husband Reuben.
Reuben, another centenarian, lived until 103. They met at Wynmoor Senior Living. His daughters Enid and Iris’s children consider Edythe their grandma. She has a picture of all of them in her bedroom and they contact her and send cards often.
Edythe and Reuben moved to an independent living community after a car accident. But when he died in 2016, Edythe moved to an assisted living in upper Westchester. Edythe then moved to The Kensington in a few years after that.
Edythe has always been very active in voter registration and political organizations and she states that she is politically opinionated. She was hoping that she would be was voting for the first woman president in the last election.
Edythe has more than touched our hearts, she has become family to many of us here at The Kensington and we are glad she is living here.