CHELSEA – A stitch in time by three residents at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare’s Cohen Florence Levine Estates has kept others warm during the pandemic.
That’s because Joan Goldstein, Charlotte Moses and Ida Rudolph have been knitting and kibitzing nearly every day during the coronavirus pandemic, donating their hand-knit scarves, hats and headbands to organizations such as Boston Medical Center and the Soldier’s Home in Chelsea. Since they started, the women – who are all 89 – have knitted more than 60 items to be donated. Their fingers and needles are still hard at work making more creations to give away.
“We decided we had to do something to get through the pandemic,” said Goldstein, who was born in Brockton and lived in Lake Worth, Florida before coming to Cohen Florence Levine Estates. “So, I upped my knitting game once I moved into the assisted living.” A few weeks after that, the Cohen Florence Levine Knitting Club took shape. They formed their tight-knit club right after the pandemic started.
Moses, who was born in Chelsea and lived in Boynton Beach, Florida, said knitting became a form of therapy. “It truly saved me,” she said.
Rudolph, who was born and lived in Chelsea, learned how to knit in the fifth grade using two pencils as knitting needles. She loves the daily gathering to knit and chat.
Goldstein and Moses met when they moved to Brockton in 1953 and they became fast friends, as did their husbands. They socialized and brought up their kids together, and have remained friends, so it was no surprise that they both decided to move into the assisted living community together. Moses moved in 2019, while Goldstein moved in six months later. They even found apartments on the same floor. Rudolph came to Cohen Florence Levine Estates back in 2015.
Moses and Rudolph attended the Sherman School, Newman Junior High and Chelsea High. “I loved living in Chelsea,” Rudolph said. “To this day, I still remember every word of our high school songs.”
Each woman has their unique set of talents. Moses has been a talented pianist since childhood, and Goldstein makes stylish jewelry, which she sold all over the Palm Beach area. She made 50 one-of a kind bracelets for every member of the staff. Rudolph acted, produced and starred in professional performances her whole life.
“We’re all different,” said Moses, “but we complement each other really well.”
What’s their secret to long life and good health?
“Try new things and find something you love to do,” Rudolph said.
“Daily exercise is critical,” Moses said. “Even walking the corridors every day makes you feel better.”
“Believe in the power of positive thinking,” Goldstein said. “For me, I have a lot more to accomplish. I fully intend to live to 100!”
As to their thoughts about getting vaccinated against COVID-19, Goldstein said, “I’ll be so happy to connect with my family when the time comes,” while Moses added, “This vaccine is saving lives every day.”