“I’ve read that we all crave meaningfulness in our lives no matter what age.”
Dr. Rose Glassberg, Lions Gate resident since July 2020, knows the importance of keeping your mind active.
“My parents were Eastern European immigrants,” said Rose. “I was the youngest of four children, born one month before the Great Depression hit. To think that I would ever be able to attend college, let alone get my PhD, was something my parents couldn’t even conceive of. But I just loved to learn. I am always reading, and learning, and teaching others. When your mind is active, you never feel old.”
Rose grew up in West Philadelphia, and earned her bachelor’s degree in English from West Chester University. After she completed a Master of Arts degree at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, her brothers presented her with their own illustrated “Master of the King’s English” from a fictional Challah University. It hangs in the dining room of her Lions Gate apartment.
Rose taught English at Germantown High School for 11 years, then moved on to teach English at Glassboro State Teacher’s College, which later became Rowan University. She earned her PhD in English from Temple University in 1972, and became a full professor in 1973. “That was also the year that I became president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) at Rowan,” said Rose. “We built that union from the ground up, and included both faculty and support staff. I retired from Rowan after 27 years, and had been president of our union for the last 18 of those years. After I retired, I became head of the AFT’s Retirees Chapter at Rowan, and that group voted unanimously to start a scholarship fund. Over the last almost 30 years, that fund has awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships to very deserving students. It is one of the most rewarding ventures I’ve ever been a part of.”
Rose lived in Cherry Hill for most of her retirement. After a serious car accident in 2018, she stopped driving and began to realize she needed a community with an adequate support system. “I knew about Lions Gate through The Jewish Community Voice,” said Rose. “The Jewish culture here is very important to me. I chose an apartment just before the pandemic hit, and moved in July 2020 during lockdown. That was challenging, but I honestly felt a huge sense of relief living here. No matter what turns the pandemic took, I knew I would be well-cared for here.”
Always one to pitch in, Rose is an elected member of the Resident Council and the Sunshine Committee, and chairs the Short Story Club. Quoting a favorite passage, “We all crave meaningfulness in our lives. It doesn’t stop when we get older.” Rose added, “If you can find a way to be purposeful, to do something useful for someone else, that gives your life meaning. Making learning a priority, and being a professor at Rowan University gave me purpose. Completing two graduate degrees in English supported that purpose. Being part of the Lions Gate Resident Council and chairing the Short Story Club also give me purpose. The longer you live, the more you want to give back to the world.”
Of course, Rose makes time for plenty of activities at Lions Gate. “I love classical music,” said Rose, “so I go to all the Classical Music Guild concerts here. I play lots of bridge, usually after dinner a few nights a week with friends. And I am impressed with the depth of classes and interesting lectures hosted here. Lions Gate also offers easy access to the movie theater across the street when an opera is being simulcast. I have much easier access than when I lived alone. This home is much better for me.”