'Oldest Jew' dies at 108

By Jessica Elgot, June 3, 2010

The woman thought to be Britain's oldest Jew died this week at the age of 108.

May Mendleson, a resident at Cardiff's Penylan Jewish care home for five years, was born in Glasgow and lived in London and Newport. The funeral was on Wednesday and she was buried at Newport's Jewish cemetery next to her husband Harry, who died in 1994 at the age of 100.

She was fondly remembered by former Newport Synagogue president Abraham Davidson, who said: "She was a nice woman, but very forthright. She didn't suffer fools gladly and always knew exactly what she wanted."

Harry Poloway, 94, was another who knew Mrs Mendleson and her husband well.

"She was a true Scot, very strong-willed and didn't mince her words," he recalled. "But she was very generous and had a good circle of friends."

An bibliophile until her final days, Mrs Mendleson read every book on the Booker Prize shortlists.

    Last updated: 3:01pm, June 3 2010