Rydal Park amenities continue to grow

September 20, 2014

Everywhere you look at Rydal Park, you’ll find residents making the most of life. If you look early enough, you just might find Jay and Donna Karfunkle – a dynamic married couple who marked their first year at Rydal Park this past June.

Jay – a lifelong exercise enthusiast – greets every morning with a 5 AM bike ride around Rydal Park’s 20-acre campus.


“I can be gregarious. I can also be very independent. I make friends all right, but sometimes I just want to be alone. That’s the reason why I love biking. I get a lot thought out.”

You’ll find Donna exercising in Rydal Park’s fitness center, where she participates in group classes with onsite fitness instructor and personal trainer Angie McNellis. She also does cardio, resistance training, and bodyweight exercises.

Before moving to Rydal Park, Jay and Donna were not only active, but actively involved in their community. For decades they have patronized classical music and the arts, and their patronage continues to this day. In fact Donna has spent years volunteering at the Woodmere Art Museum.

As a lifelong business executive, Jay was also keen on finding ways to give back to the community. One such way was starting the Current Events Group shortly after moving in. Jay moderates weekly group meetings with as many as 30 residents in attendance. Discussions include national and international news and politics, as well as hosting guest speakers.


Donna spends time volunteering for Rydal Park’s “Treasure Room,” where residents and staff can purchase assorted items. The proceeds fund a Residents Association that supports numerous endeavors. “It really is a win/win, and I’ve met some lovely people.”

She’s also involved in local synagogues, as she has always been.

Proud of her independence, Donna was delighted to discover that at Rydal Park she is free to pursue her interests. In fact, “if you have passion,” she continues, “you’re certainly encouraged to follow it here.”

The Karfunkles’ passions also include their three grown children – and numerous grandchildren – all of whom live locally. “Because our children are so close, we often go there for holidays,” Jay says. Donna adds, “We are also happy having dinner by ourselves once in a while in the apartment. I don’t mind cooking a couple times a week.”

But when they’re not with family, don’t feel like cooking, or just want to get away for a little, they’re happy to enjoy the fare at one of Rydal Park’s four dining establishments or at any of the areas many fine restaurants. “There’s not a pattern,” Donna says, “but I would say maybe at least twice a week we dine out.”

So what’s their secret to happiness? As Jay explains, staying active is vital to living a vibrant life.

“Exercise. Mental or physical – one helps the other. They’re inextricably intertwined. If you take care of your mind, your body will be, hopefully, all right. Take care of your body, your mind will be improved or at least maintain a level of a mental acuity.”