Saturday, September 20, 2014 Elul 25, 5774

Appreciating a Life in Stitches

July 23, 2014 By:
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Pearls of wisdom: Gail Rosenberg (left) is lead volunteer of the Nifty Knitters, run by the Klein Active Adult Center. With her is Joanne Beck (center), assistant program and lifelong learning coordinator at the center, and Fran Wasserman, founder and director of the Baby Bureau of Abington Memorial Hospital.

Mitzvah Hero: Interested in a well-spun yarn? Put your feet up, settle back and have a listen to Gail Rosenberg, leader of the Nifty Knitters at the Klein Active Adult Center in Elkins Park.

What It’s All About: “I love older adults and I‘ve been knitting for years,” says the Elkins Park mother of three and bubbe of six, who learned to knit from her own grandmother. “And I thought, 'Let me see what I can do to combine them.' ”

The septuagenarian found her outlet at Abington Memorial Hospital, which has a Baby Bureau to assist families in financial distress. 

“So, my group got to work, bundling up packages for them," explained Rosenberg.

The Nifty Knitters, about eight women ages 60 and older, have been at it for about a year now, meeting at Congregation Adath Jeshurun every other week. The group, which is overseen by the Klein JCC, “has blossomed,” says Rosenberg. “One member, in her 90s, said that this has changed her life.”

Total output so far: 40 blankets and caps.

Lead knitter Rosenberg says her group could always use extra helping hands. Most volunteers already know how to knit, but newcomers can be taught if needed.

Not a One-Time Thing: A self-described “people person,” Rosenberg is a certified gerontologist who has “done a million things” in life. 

The graduate of the University of Michigan has been a board member of Federation Early Learning Services for decades; served as a docent for 18 years at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; taught early childhood education at Manor College in Jenkintown; and has been on the board of Congregation Rodeph Sholom and directed its art museum.

Helping others, she says, helps her feel better about the world.

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