Ruby Family History Project

Chapters

Recently widowed Elly Ringel and her 14-year-old daughter Helga fled Germany in August 1938. Follow their journey step by step until their arrival as legal immigrants in New York in May 1941.

What Jewish-American family would not want to boast of its connection to a famous rabbi? Yitzhak Elchanan Spektor was a great Torah scholar who as rabbi of Kovno was a leader of the Russsian Jewish community of the late 19th century. This chapter explores the biographical facts of Spektor's life and leads to new information about the family relation.

Walter Rabinowitz changed his name at 17 and never stopped reinventing himself until his untimely death. This chapter explores the rise of the post-Repeal liquor industry and the role of our grandfather at the American Spirits company, including a surprising discovery about Coca-Cola.

One grand Parisian villa, four episodes in history. The home of prosperous Jewish jeweller Joe Liebman was "Aryanized" and became a Nazi salon under German occupation. In 1973, it was the site of Henry Kissinger's secret Paris peace talks. Liebman's son Arnauld Clerc and his wife threw lavish literary soirees there.

Solomon and Sophie Tulbowitz pulled up stakes from the shtetl in Rezhitsa (today it is Rezekne is western Latvia) in the 1870s. For 20 years they settled in Novocherkassk, near Rostov-on-Don in the south of Russia, where they ran a tavern and raised a family. Daughter Rose and her husband Abe departed from there in 1890, eventually settling in Albany, N.Y., under the new name of Ratner.

Stan Ruby's graduate research at Brookhaven Labs first looked to confirm one model for the mechanism of beta decay. Five years later, that experiment came into conflict with an emerging unified theory of the weak interaction. How and why did the experiment go wrong, and what impact did it have on Stan's career in physics?

The younger generation of Jews from the growing cities of Austrian Galicia in the 1880s were the first in their familes to aspire to somethiing other than traditional shtetl life. Schija Ringel came from the streets of the Jewish neighborhood of Rzeszow, able to seek his fortune in Germany's capital city. Fiega Kaufler did much the same in more modest fashion. She came from Krakow to Berlin to work as a housemaid. Schija and Fiega wed in 1890. Their eldest of three children was our grandfather Hermann Ringel.

Isaak and Betty Wohlgemuth came to Berlin in the years after World War I with a goal to find suitable Jewish husbands for their two daughters, our grandmother Elly and her younger sister Hilde. But where did the Wohlgemuth family and Betty's Katz family originate? How we used family lore, prior research, and new records to trace our roots to the old Prussian towns of Kolberg and Stargardt. 

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Stanley and Helga Ruby

Married June 8, 1947 at the Hotel Beacon, Broadway at 76th St., New York, N.Y.