“I came here from Paris with my family when I was eight years old. My father didn’t talk a lot about Judaism or what happened during the war, although he was left without one relative. I went to school, my parents returned to France, and I stayed here by myself. I guess in my head, I was thinking, ‘I’m going to make a better life here.’ I’ve had two different careers. I was in fashion and makeup—I had a boutique, I designed clothes, and I manufactured. Then I went into real estate, did that for 32 years. Now I’m retired and my head is all over the place because I like to do different things, foremost something that helps people.
I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 15 years ago. When you get Parkinson’s, there aren’t that many choices and there are a lot of things that come up because of it. I sat on the board of the Parkinson’s Society for several years so I could help make a difference. Having a community of people in the same situation is vital, because no one should have to go through this alone. Now I’m at the Cummings at least four or five times a week. I love it. There are a lot of seniors, so you’re not defending yourself. It’s very comfortable. This place is a lifesaver. It lets me be me. It made me very proud to be Jewish; I’m more Jewish now than ever.”