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November 22 • 2007
Lifelong volunteer garners
strength from helping others.
Special to the Jewish News
Full Service Event Production for Corporate and Social Events
MCs • Disc jockeys • Interactive Dancers • Lighting Design
Centenarian Irene Rodman
he didn't want anyone to make a fuss. But, to Irene Rodman's
surprise and delight, her 100th birthday turned out to be the
celebration of a lifetime.
"The whole month of October was celebrated in my honor," Rodman
said. "My milestone involves people. I'm a people lover. I get involved with
people, and I feel like they are a part of me."
That was apparent Oct. 25 when 145 people attended a 100th birth-
day luncheon for Rodman at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills
thrown by the Metro Detroit chapter of Jewish Women International. In
spite of her age, Rodman serves as a local chapter president.
"Irene is one of the treasures of the JWI; she's been a member for more
than 60 years," said longtime friend Barbara Coden of West Bloomfield.
"You would never know that she's 100. She has red hair; she's very stylish.
She gives speeches that are just mesmerizing, and she speaks without
odman is also the current president of ChaZaKah, the senior adults
group at Adat Shalom and has served as a leader in several organizations.
In the past, her volunteer efforts have included working with blind children
and driving cancer patients to doctor appointments for treatment.
"I've been a volunteer all my life," Rodman said. "I take an interest in
people, and I like to do it. I think that's why I reached my age of 100."
Rodman, who lives in Southfield, was born in the Ukraine Oct. 31,1907,
the oldest of three girls. Her family came to America when she was 13,
moving to Detroit in 1921. At age 19, she married her late husband, Joseph
Rodman, who was in the waste paper business. The couple raised two
daughters, Dr. Joan Rodman-Smoller, 68, of Riverdale, N.Y., and the late
Anita Tucker. Rodman has three grandchildren and three great-grandchil-
In addition to her volunteer work, she says she enjoys watching CSPAN2
and following politics.
"My only message to people is get involved with others — do volunteer
work," Rodman said. "Don't concentrate only on yourself; concentrate on
others and see what you can do for them." I I