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Ruth Fisher Goodman

Article by Naomi Hershkowitz


I would encourage you to meet Ruth Goodman, a very special Hadassah lady, but you probably already have. Ruth is a past president of the Wilmington Chapter of Hadassah and Vice-President of Education for the region. 

Ruth, a Hadassah life member, is a retired reading specialist for the Brandywine School District, and many of our children know her and have benefited from her caring expertise. "Everybody loves Mrs. Goodman", one student confided in me.  

Ruth is the founder of TABS, a tutor-mentor program in the Delaware schools, and some of us have found great satisfaction in volunteering with the young students through Towards A Better Society. Ruth, who went to the Workmen's Circle Yiddish School in New York, is a professional Yiddish translator. This very busy Hadassah lady finds time to teach very well received classes at the Osher Academy in WIlmington, and has given talks at the Men's Club at Beth Emeth. Ruth Goodman is also an author, and a translator of books, such as The Jewish Pope, Easy Steps to the Hebrew Alphabet, and Pen Pals. Her most recently published work is "Yeshiva Boy". Most of her books are available on Amazon, and I'm sure she would be happy to autograph your copy.

We asked Ruth to tell us about her latest published work. Yeshiva Boy was written by Jacob Dineson in the early 20th century in Poland. His title was "Herschele". She renamed it thinking the American public would better relate to the title, Yeshiva Boy It is a story of Piety and young love. She translated it because she was sent the original book and it was suggested that the author was a noteworthy Yiddish writer of the early 20th Century. Dineson is compared to Charles Dickens and Upton Sinclair. His books tell about abuses in society. In Yeshiva Boy, he writes about how Jewish boys were educated in Poland in the 19th and 20th centuries. He especially focuses on orphans being raised in the Jewish community; how they are sustained while studying, how the Matchmaker worked at his trade, what personalities were like (and human beings are what they are whether they lived in the 19th century or the 21st. ) While going to his "Wednesday meal " he young boy falls in love with his hostess's daughter.

Dineson's books generally do not have happy endings, but they are true to life.

Dineson is an author of note and his works should be made known to our world. He describes a vanished world that is a part of Jewish history. 

Also there was no concern about about copyright since it was published in Warsaw so long ago.

The Jewish Pope on the other hand, is based on fact, fiction and legend, written by her Yiddish literature teacher and Jewish History teacher, and she was able to get copyright from his son.

She is a lecturer on Judaic subjects and most recently delivered lectures on American Jewish History in PA and NY. Next semester she will be teaching Yiddish at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

On the chance there might be any spare time in her day, she is a member of the Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council, RSVP, a wonderful organization that allows retired older people to continue using their skills and abilities to benefit the community.

Ruth and her husband Al now live in Maris Grove, and her apartment displays her personal needlework. She will be teaching "Civilization and the Jews" at Maris Grove. Of course no one expected Ruth to actually retire.

Their family includes their daughter Connie Krupin, who just published "A Time to Be Born", a Jewish Baby Journal, www.atime2bborn. Their daughter Dr Nancy Swartz, an opthalmic reconstructive and plastic surgeon, has offices in Philadelphia and New Jersey, and her oldest daughter lives in Israel with her husband. The latest family member is great-granddaughter Naomi Elizabeth Berger. Yes, everyone is a Hadassah member. 



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