Charles E. Smith

Life Communities



Meet Paula ~

Upbeat Attitude Counts

Paula first learned about the Hebrew Home decades ago as a newly-minted lawyer fresh out of American University's Washington College of Law. After landing a clerkship with a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge, she was assigned to a pro bono case involving a Home resident. The positive impression drawn from this contact — that the Hebrew Home "seemed like a place filled with interesting people from diverse backgrounds" — stuck with her. Thus, when years later progressive health challenges convinced her that she needed full-time nursing assistance, Paula knew immediately where to turn for care. She entered the Hebrew Home as a resident in October, 2009.

Raised in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, Paula attended Boston University, leaving to marry an artist and head for Europe. The adventuresome couple spent the 1970s living in Spain and Portugal before returning to the U.S. and the DC area, where Paula completed her B.A. at George Washington University. Following a stint in the work force and several stay-at-home years with a baby, Paula shifted her sights to law school. A productive legal career ensued. 

Paula's approach to life remains positive. "You have to accept your situation and live according to what you can do," she states. And this she does — with a cheerful disposition, a zest for learning and new experiences, and appreciation for the uniqueness of everyone she encounters. Thanks to a wheelchair, Paula goes off to lectures (she loves Rabbi James Michaels' popular talks on traditional Hebrew music and dance), Shakespeare classes, performances, and various events planned by Recreation Therapy staff in the Smith-Kogod residence. She also enjoys simply basking in the sun or immersing herself in the world of books via her Kindle.  No doubt about it: Paula's happy living on our campus, grateful for the support she receives, and content to spend her time as she wishes.


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