88-year-old Holocaust survivor lives life to fullest as ski instructor in New York

HUNTER, New York (WABC) -- A Holocaust survivor and longtime ski instructor is making the most of the ski season and doesn't plan to have his final run any time soon.

Ralph Perlberger, 88, started skiing in college but didn't become an instructor until decades later when he saw an ad for an $85 training course at Hunter Mountain.

"I told my wife this is a great way to get four days of early skiing for $20 a day, that's all I had in mind," Perlberger said.

That's all it took for him to become hooked. At the age of 72, he joined the ski school and he doesn't usually share his age, he says, because his students never ask.

"He's always teaching and I accept it all times, but just trying to keep up with him is the hard part," his friend Keith Miller said.

Miller met Perlberger on Fire Island where he leads a weekend soccer pickup game and even teaches windsurfing.

But in the winter, when he's not practicing law in Manhattan, Perlberger is teaching or skiing with his family.

Lauren Glassberg got a chance to interview Perlberger at Hunter Mountain -- watch below:
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Lauren Glassberg shares the story of a Holocaust survivor and ski instructor who's making the most of the remaining ski season at Hunter Mountain.


Perhaps it's what happened during his childhood that informs the way he lives. He grew up in Holland and survived the Holocaust.

"We were imprisoned by the Germans when I was 9," Perlberger said. "My mother, and my two brothers and myself."

He said they all made it out alive, which is a miracle.

Up on the mountain where the sky and snow meet is a place for reflection.

"I have a feeling of gratitude 24/7, I'm truly luckier than anyone is entitled to be," Perlberger said.

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