Ernie Weiss arrived in York in 1949, nine years after he fled Nazi-occupied Vienna to go to Czechoslovakia before immigrating to the United States.
Weiss helped to shape York's economy through his work with Cole Steel and McCrory's. As a member of York's new chapter of The Arc, he helped to introduce services for the intellectually and developmentally disabled in elementary and preschools in York.
To celebrate his 100th birthday this year, Jewish Family Services (JFS) of York is inviting members of the community to its annual meeting on Sunday, Sept. 23, for Reflections on a Century of Life.
The birthday celebration for Weiss will begin at 2 p.m. in the Jewish Community Center's auditorium, and he will share stories from his life and discuss how he remains active and involved even at 100.
"It's not a big deal," said Ernie Weiss, about his 100th birthday on Jan. 22, 2013.
"I had my daily routine doing things and staying busy, and now I'm preparing for our move to Florida," Weiss said. "So fortunately I am very healthy, and my only problem is that I have lost my vision. I am not blind, but I have macular degeneration."
Daily exercise: Weiss attributes his good health to daily exercise. He always loved ice skating, playing tennis, skiing and swimming, and he continues to do calisthenics each morning.
Weiss remains a board member at The Arc of York and is also active in retiree groups from Cole and McCrory's, the JFS Men's Think Tank and the Ohev Sholom Congregation.
Later this fall, Weiss and his wife, Harlene, plan to move to Sarasota, Fla.
"He has been very supportive of us and things that we've done," said Joan Krechmer, executive director of JFS.
"We thought it was a remarkable occasion deserving of celebration," Krechmer said. "He is an amazing, vital person, and he has lived in York most of his life.
"He raised his family here, he earned his livelihood here and he was very active in the Jewish community and the community at large," said Krechmer.
With support from the York County Community Foundation, JFS is creating a video about Weiss using the "Ten Questions to Ask the Experts in Your Life," created by Karl Pillemer.
The video will be shown at the birthday celebration.
Those interested in attending the birthday celebration for Weiss are asked to RSVP as soon as possible to Rachel Kohr at 843-5011.