Rockville man celebrates 100th birthday -- Gazette.Net


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Morris Erger was born Dec. 12, 1912, in Czechoslovakia, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He has lived through two world wars, the Holocaust and the invention of the computer, but he says he doesn’t feel special.

“I just feel it was a long time ago,” he said with a smile.

Erger said he has seen many technological innovations like the computer in the past century — “big accomplishments, new things, amazing things, which I cannot absorb.”

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington celebrated Erger’s 100th birthday Dec. 12 in Rockville with cake, balloons, presents and children from the center’s preschool program singing “Happy Birthday” in Hebrew. Erger was accompanied by his granddaughter, Tori Seidenstein, who is a junior at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda.

Erger, who moved to Rockville from Los Angeles in 2005, enjoys taking part in activities at the JCC, particularly the educational programs. In his younger years, Erger’s education was interrupted by World War I and then World War II.

“I did not have a chance too much to go to school, so I was very glad to find [the JCC],” he said.

Staff at the center said they’re glad to have Erger as a member.

“We’re so fortunate that we have such an active participant and such a well-rounded man at the JCC,” said Barbara Winnik, director of arts and culture at the center.

Scott Cohen, JCCGW president, said the center will celebrate its own 100th birthday next year.

“I’m not sure that we look as well as he does, but at least we’re still kicking,” he said, laughing.