Eva Vlessing, has grit. While so many of her generation have known hardship over the years, Eva has literally moved around the world to carve out a beautiful life for herself.

Born in Germany in 1929, Eva’s family watched Hitler come to power in 1933. With
their safety in question, the family moved to Jerusalem in 1935. Eva’s grandmother was the first certified midwife in Palestine at the beginning of the 20 th century. Her patients were both Jews and Arabs, and she would travel to far-flung villages to deliver babies. “When you take the time to get to know your community, it’s hard to hold grudges,” said Eva. “We had wonderful Palestinian neighbors. I had a very nice childhood there.”
Eva aspired to become a doctor so she could help people just as she saw her grandmother do, but she suffered profound hearing loss as a child and couldn’t use a stethoscope. Instead, she decided to become an ophthalmologist. She moved to Switzerland in 1946 to attend medical school, and that’s where she met the man who would one day become her husband. “My husband had a difficult life,” said Eva. “As a child, he went into different hiding places while his country, Holland, was occupied by the Nazi regime. His entire family was eventually killed in Auschwitz. After the war, he attended medical school in Amsterdam to become a cardiologist. We met in Switzerland during winter vacation when we both attended a Jewish ski camp. I moved to the United States in 1952 to further my education, and train to become an ophthalmologist. My husband immigrated to the United States in 1953,  and we were married right in NYC as soon as he arrived. It was the start of a wonderful life together.”
Eva, her husband, and their four children lived in Levittown, PA, for 46 years. Her husband developed memory issues in his late 60’s, so Eva started looking for a senior living community that had continuing care services. “My husband and I each moved so much in our younger years,” said Eva. “When we came to the United States, we just wanted to put down roots and not move again. Levittown was a wonderful place for us for a very long time, and I wanted that same kind of longevity whenever we moved in our senior years. I also wanted to move somewhere with Jewish culture and traditions. Lions Gate was just being built, and my husband and I were one of the very first to move in. Years later my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and moved into the memory care wing called Safe Haven. As I watched how kindly they cared for him, I knew I was where I should be. Choosing Lions Gate back when the doors first opened in 2007 was exactly where we needed to be then for our independent years. It’s exactly where we needed to be in 2018 when my husband needed memory care. And it’s exactly where I should be now, surrounded by friends.”
At 93 years of age, Eva isn’t slowing down yet. “I like to stay active, and that’s easy to do at Lions Gate,” said Eva. “I go to exercise classes and swim in the pool. I play canasta and Rumikub in the card room. I like the opera class, and attend book club. I go to services with Rabbi Rayna. And on an off day if I don’t feel well, I just stop into the Wellness Center. The gerontologist is wonderful. I have no worries here, and I am so comfortable. Lions Gate takes care of everything. They make it so easy to get up, and have a great day. What a beautiful thing that is.”

What a great addition you have been to Lions Gate, Eva! We are so happy you chose to move here as one of our original residents.