Community Connections: The 95-Year-Old Yogi and His Teacher

Paul Kent and Lily Hillis

Some people say you’re never too old to try something new. Oshman Family JCC member Paul Kent agrees.

When he was 90, Paul met yoga master and fellow Moldaw resident Lily Hillis. She convinced him to attend one of her weekly yoga classes at the OFJCC’s Goldman Sports & Wellness Complex. An open-minded Paul agreed to sit in and has been a regular ever since. Last week, in honor of his 95th birthday, Hillis orchestrated a surprise party for Paul after their regular class.

“I’ve been coming for five years and never missed a class,” Paul said to a crowd of waiting friends and community members at the surprise gathering. The witty 95-year old, who admittedly doesn’t look his age, also shared a story of being turned down by the British Army during World War II for having a heart murmur. “I bet they regret that now,” he joked.

“I want to be Paul when I grow up,” says instructor Lily Hillis of her student and close friend. Like Paul, Hillis was introduced to yoga later in life, but has been infatuated ever since. Lilly currently teaches two Gentle Yoga classes at the OFJCC, providing versatile movements for people of all ages to enjoy and peppering each class with her unique brand of humor.

Paul and his wife Elsie have been living at Moldaw since the senior housing development opened in 2009. The Kents, who will both turn 95 this week, are quite active on the Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life, which houses both the Moldaw Residences and the Oshman Family JCC.

On behalf of the OFJCC, we wish Paul and Elsie wonderful birthdays.

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Scott Murray

Written by Scott Murray

Scott Murray is the former Digital Marketing Manager at the OFJCC, lending his filmmaking skills to the JCC’s video segments and strengthening its presence on the web. A self-proclaimed fitness and music junkie, outside the office he could be found serving up some beach volleyball, running by the bay or strumming his guitar.



    Great picture, wonderful story. Keep up the good work.

  2. Max Greenberg says:

    Paul and Lily are amazing people. And they live in an amazing place: Moldaw Residences, right next door to the JCC! Up until a couple of weeks ago I worked there and got to see some of the results of Lily’s yoga classes on a daily basis. And whenever I ran into Paul at the JCC he was always coming or going to a yoga class, with great enthusiasm. That kind of enthusiasm is not hard to find amongst many of the residents of Moldaw, the premier retirement community West of the Hudson River. Paul and Lily: keep on keepin’ on!

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