Ruby Family Stories

Use filters in combination to select family stories.

Select one from the pulldown
Enter value from -3 (early 1800s) to +4 (late 1900s).
Enter story theme (i.e. assimilation, childhood, persecution)
Enter a place name (i.e. Berlin, Paris, Pittsburgh)
Date or Range Story Description
1917 Our Ruby name—why did Walter choose it?

When and why did Walter Rabinowitz take on our abbreviated last name? It was 1917, months after the death of his father Joseph..

1919 Young man on the make in the Roaring Twenties

Walter Ruby hustled his way as a traveling silver salesman, with some career side trips into boxing promotion and medicinal alcohol.

1924 Musical appreciation in the Ruby household

From Mozart to swing to the Grateful Dead.

1924 Young Stan

Stan was smart and fresh, with something to say about almost anything.

1928 Sandy Klein

A precocious Ratner girl takes on life in midcentury America.

1930 Jews in jazz—the big band era

Stan's musical idol was Benny Goodman, the King of Swing.

1930 Stan at Brant Lake

Stan summered at a Jewish summer camp in the Adirondacks.

1932 If walls could talk—75 years in a Parisian villa

The home of a French Jewish jeweller was "Aryanized" and became a Nazi salon during the Occupation.

1933 Long Beach—taking in the Klein Family

During the Depression, families helped each other out. The Kleins moved in with the Rubys in Long Beach.

1933 The Ringels in Berlin—the Nazi years

During the first five years of Hitler's reign of terror, Jewish families of Berlin faced one repression after another.

1933 Wild goose chase—an accident in Jersey City

A newspaper clipping placed Walter Ruby on the scene of an automobile wreck in Hudson County, N.J. Not every lead pans out.

1934 Walter Ruby and the Carioca Cooler

The U.S. liquor industry took off after the repeal of Prohibition. Walter Ruby was the marketing manager for American Spirits.

1936 Sidney Kessler and American Spirits

Walter Ruby's boss in the liquor business became an influential figure in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

1936 Ze'ev Sharon in Palestine

A pioneer to Palestine in 1936, Ze’ev did his part to build the state of Israel as a founder of Kibbutz Afek.

1937 The corkscrew on eBay—sourcing family artifacts

Out of the files of the U.S. Patent Office and into the peculiar subculture of corkscrew collectors.

1937 The family secret behind granddad's desk calendar

A surprising artifact discovered after a parent's death leads to a series of discoveries and an ongoing interest in genealogy.

1938 Escape from Berlin—last good chance to get out

How Elly and Helga Ringel were smuggled with SS escort out of Germany and across the Belgian border in August 1938.

1938 Ghosts of Weissensee—the cemetery played on

How did Betty Katz meet her end in February 1942?

1940 Exodus to America

The Ringel family crossed from Lisbon on the SS Guine—but their entry to the U.S. was anything but routine.

1940 Motives for mercy—the consuls of Toulouse

In July 1940, consular officials from three nations conspired to open an escape route for Jews out of occupied France. Why did they do it?