Michele Brill, understands the far reaching benefits of an education.

“I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in physics,” said Michele. “At the time, the telephone company was desperate to hire engineers because all the men were off fighting in the Korean War. The company pivoted, and hired women who had degrees in physics, mathematics, or chemistry. I absolutely loved my job, and eventually was named one of the “Prominent Women of Philadelphia. So many in my family have attended UPenn, and I can honestly say that my UPenn education has served me well my whole life. The longer I live, the more I want to learn!”

Michele was married to her husband, Harold A. Brill, for 41 years. Together they had a son and daughter, and 3 grandchildren. Always one to keep learning, Michele went back to college to get her teaching certificate from Glassboro State, and taught science at Kellman Brown Academy through the 1970’s. Following that, she taught physics at Camden County College in Blackwood for many years, and retired from teaching in the 2000’s.

“My husband and I were very interested in moving to Lions Gate,” said Michele. “Unfortunately he passed before Lions Gate became a reality. But I was determined to make the move myself, and was one of the people holding a shovel and wearing a hard hat at the Lions Gate groundbreaking ceremony in October 2004. People ask how I knew Lions Gate was the right place for me before it was even built, and it just seemed obvious. First, I wanted to be near the high speed line into Philly. The Woodcrest station is close to Lions Gate so it was easy for me to take advantage of all Philly has to offer. Second, I wanted a community with an indoor pool and a fitness center, and Lions Gate has both. I skip the treadmill, and take all the aquacise and fitness classes I can. Third, I wanted to be near my synagogue, Temple Beth Sholom. I was very involved with TBS’s HAZAK Chapter, (I was President of that senior group at one time), and I was also active in the local Hadassah Group. I knew I would be surrounded by old friends from both groups at Lions Gate. Fourth, I was happy to live in a community that keeps kosher so that I can easily entertain my extended family that keeps kosher. The food here is wonderful! And lastly, I was quite involved with the JCC, and I knew Lions Gate would have many of the same classes and teachers. To be honest, the programming at Lions Gate is really the jewel in the crown here. The classes, the concert series, the daytrips, the clubs — it’s all fabulous!”

Michele is proud to be one of the original Lions Gate residents, having lived here for 15 years. “If there is one piece of advice I could give people, it would be to move here while you’re young,” smiled Michele. “With so much to do everyday, why would you wait? I am so lucky I moved in as soon as the doors opened.”

Thanks for being the trailblazer, Michele. Lions Gate is lucky to have smart, interesting, active residents like you who are always eager to take a bite out of life!