Magazine distribution coordinator for over 30 years
We would all wish to grow old with the wisdom of experience, the blessing of good health and the energy and the joie de vivre to explore new parameters and exciting adventures, keeping alert and busy in the twilight years of our lives. It is inspiring to meet someone who lives her life at 92 years old doing exactly that.
I introduced myself to Sybil Shapiro a short while ago, after battling to make an appointment that suited this very busy new resident of the Beth Protea community. Her looks and her actions caused me to question whether I had her age correct – but the short time we spent together confirmed the facts, and in a sense alerted me to her secret. It is one of accepting the hand that life deals you and making the very most of every day.
When the last of their children married in South Africa and settled in the U.S. and in Canada, Sybil and Solly Shapiro retired, packed up and came to Israel. The year was 1977. Aliyah had always been a dream of theirs and they arrived and made a home for themselves in Ramat Hasharon. They quickly integrated into the local community and became avid volunteers wherever their services were required. It was then that Sybil became involved with ESRA. She organized the distribution of the magazines in Ramat Hasharon, a task which she fulfilled for over 30 years.
Solly passed away at a relatively young age, only seven years after they came to Israel. Sybil stayed on in her home, enjoying the very rewarding hobby of gardening. Finding herself today with a much bigger garden to attend to, she spends her free time pruning the dead growth and assisting in tending the garden at her new home in Beth Protea.
An enthusiastic bowls player, Sybil became involved with the Blind Bowlers Association of Israel and still assists blind bowlers, although she no longer plays herself.
Sybil moved to Beth Protea with the encouragement of her children, all so far away. They worried about her vulnerability alone in her home with no close family to call on. Today she is secure in her new, albeit much smaller, apartment. Independent, she is not hindered by her age. She still drives her car, and her activities are not limited to her immediate surroundings. Once a week she attends lectures at Tel Aviv University. In Beth Protea she assists wherever her services are needed. At present she is involved with re-shelving the library books of the home. In her very few idle moments in her apartment, she keeps herself busy knitting bedsocks for the residents of the nursing unit, which were greatly appreciated during the few bitterly cold weeks this last winter had in store for us. What an asset Sybil is to Beth Protea, and a wonderful example of an active and involved nonagenarian.
From the Editor: Thank you Sybil, for being you, and for 32 years of volunteering with ESRA MAGAZINE. We miss you in Ramat Hasharon. Merle.