May Mendleson, 108, is Britain's oldest Jew

By Ruth Levene, February 25, 2010

May Mendleson doesn't like to have a fuss made of her - even on her 108th birthday.

Celebrations were low key for Mrs Mendleson, believed to be Britain's oldest Jew, at Cardiff's Penylan Jewish home, where she has been a resident for five years. However, she was delighted that her son Astor travelled from London with his wife Carole.

Born in Glasgow, she moved to London before marriage and took jobs including secretary to Hackney Conservative Party.

She met her husband Harry at a wedding where she was a bridesmaid and he was the best man.

They married in 1931, setting up home in Newport, where Mr Mendleson had been raised, and they ran two sweet shops.

They were members of Newport Synagogue, where Mr Mendleson was a long-serving treasurer. He died in 1994, aged 100.

Until relatively recently, she read every book on the Booker Prize shortlist and has retained her mobility.

She claims no secret to longevity, saying merely: "I live each day as it comes."

    Last updated: 4:38pm, February 25 2010