Her neighbors have known Carol Lipson as their volunteer exercise teacher. She has lived at The Peninsula for 11 years and for many of these years; every day at 9 a.m. a loyal group of exercise followers would join her to stretch, flex and do a light cardio workout.
Recently, the 93 year old decided she would pass the baton over to someone else and now simply enjoys participating rather than teaching the class.
In addition to exercise, Carol finds The Peninsula’s diverse activity program offers her a wide variety of choices. She enjoys participating in jewelry making classes and pursuing her hobby of recycling greeting cards. With an extensive vocabulary, she finds word games groups challenging and fun while also enjoying the community’s live entertainment and movies.
Every week she attends the Shabbat services which are held at the community and is active in her faith.
A Holocaust survivor, Carol relishes opportunities to share her amazing life history. With her accent still carrying traces of her native Poland, she is one of the rare individuals who can offer a first person account growing up in Radom, Poland and surviving the Holocaust.
She met her husband, Alfred, when he came to her family’s home to tutor her brother and sister. Since her dream was to become a pharmacist, she didn’t initially think of marrying him, she explained. Despite excellent grades and excelling in high school in French, Latin and chemistry, the pharmacology program in Warsaw was limited for Jewish students. She witnessed prejudice and persecution firsthand and was forced to return to Radom to find a job.
Answering an ad for a drugstore cashier she found work at the drugstore despite it being located outside of the ghetto. It required her to slip off her white armband going to work. Her Christian boss appreciated her expertise and understanding of chemicals and trusted her. He would play a role in her survival while Jews were being marched off to death camps. Each night Carol would return to the ghetto and miraculously bring food back to her family living in a two-room house.
Her future husband’s family lived next door. There was a curfew but everyone would come to their family’s kitchen to play cards.
They decided to get married while both families were still alive. In 1944 Alfred and Carol were sent by the Nazis to separate concentration camps. They were lucky to meet again after a year and they came to live in the US sponsored by Carol’s cousin.
Her husband authored the book “The Book of Radom: The Story of a Jewish Community in Poland Destroyed by the Nazis” in 1963.
The once brilliant intellectual was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and the couple moved to The Peninsula.
After her husband died, Carol decided to continue living at The Peninsula. She’s comfortable surrounded by the couple’s many collections of books and memorabilia. At the community, she’s made many friends over the years and is loved by the staff.