Sharon family

Israel family reunion

On a whole different front, Walter is getting ready to meet up with our Israeli family next week, as he travels there despite the war before meeting up with Tanya in the Ukraine. Meanwhile, Joanne has canceled her visit to Israel, but will instead travel with Lani to Venice, Paris and London. In London, she has hopes to contact Helga's cousing Edit who is reported by one of the young Israeli relatives to be alive and well.

To give a flavor, here is a series of emails, with Walter's latest update on contingency plans for meeting the family if Afeq remains unsafe.


I had a long talk with Dalit and Tal on Thursday and Tal offered to have me picked up at airport upon arrival in his company car and brought to their house in Zichron. That is on the morning of the 7th. Dalit said that if the present situation is continuing at that point, the family reunion set for August 8th on Afek will be moved to Zichron, which as you know is about 15 miles south of Haifa and no rockets have gotten there yet, although some have gotten pretty close. The problem, of course, will be what to do about Ze'ev ,who might not be able to move to Zichron, though Raya, Pnina etc. certainly can do so. But the feeling is 'you do what you can' and 'zeh mah she yesh' and if we need to hold the reunion in Ze;ev's absence thats what will have to be. Tal said rockets have landed all around Afek and they themselves wouldn't travel there at this point at least.

Dalit, who I havent spoken to in about 30 years, was a delight, an absolutely charming person, very thoughtful, speaking about the sense of fragility of life in Israel--one moment a beautiful summer season, the next moment all of this horror. The situation is bringing people together and causing people to rise to the next level of generosity and collectiveness and all of that, but its still a dispiriting mess.

So, presumably the family reunion will take place on the 8th, probably in Zichron and of course you can be involved by phone. They all very much wish you could come, but understand and respect your concern about Lani.

I dont remember the address of the chateau in Neuilly--I have a picture of it in my mind's eye, but wouldnt know how to find it. And, as I may have mentioned, Clerc is gone. It used to be on the Place de La Opera, but I couldnt find it when I was there with Tanya in January.

But look at this link I just found on Google.

it seems to be the same firm. Do you think Gerald is Arnaud's son? So, according to this, the firm appears to have been created in 1874 on the Place de L'Opera and Joe Leibman must have taken it over at some point.

Love, W.

On 7/29/06, joanne ruby wrote:

joanne ruby wrote:
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 23:05:18 -0700 (PDT)
From: joanne ruby
Subject: Re: Edit and Gina
To: Dan Ruby

good go, Dan. I will write Achikam shortly w/ this and see what he can add for preparation to my talking by phone or in-person w/ Edit Aug. 14-16 in London.

Walt, shall we think about when/ how we can communicate while you are in Ha'aretz w/ our cousins. I think you definitely need to show them all the blog. Can you access Dan's photo album on line? would surely blow them away. are you taking the CD - Stories of Helga and Stan Ruby? wow. you two sure are pulling it all together. Walt, do you have recollection of location of Hilda's mansion in Neuilly? I'd love to find it. Is anyone buried there we need to find? Now there's a question (am I blogging yet?): where is Hilda buried?

Dan Ruby wrote:
Edit and Gina were daughters of Bette Ringel, who was Hermann's sister. There
was a third sibling Rosa, mother of Ze'ev and his sister Margot. We
don't know anything about Hermann, Bette, and Rosa's parents.>>>>

Penina passes away two weeks after Ze'ev

More sad news from the Sharon family. Penina took ill following her husband's funeral and shiva period. She passed away Sunday, July 26, at Kibbutz Afeq.

Joanne plans to visit surviving family members at the end of August, in time for a Shloshim observance as well as a bar mitzvah of young Amit Dori.

We will post photos and memories as they become available.

"dedicate peace efforts to Ze'ev's memory"

I apologize to everyone for being a few days behind in my writing about Ze'ev; I am presently in the last stages of a project to bring a group of European imams and rabbis to New York and Washington from July 20-23 as part of an ongoing efforts on behalf of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding to promote better relations between Muslims and Jews worldwide.

As the family in Afeq well knows I have been a peacenik my whole life and Ze'ev and I often had heated, though wonderful and enriching, discussions back in the 1970's about my efforts to reach out to Israeli Arabs like Father Elias Shakour of Ibillin, just up the road from Afeq. I know that Ze'ev longed for peace with every fiber of his being and that by participating in the upbuilding of Israel as he did, he did far more to contribute to the eventual coming of that day than whatever my own tiny efforts may have accomplished. Ze'ev, like many Israelis, sometimes told me that I was naive about the realities on the ground in Israel and Palestine and he had a point there as well. But I believe that both Ze'ev and I and all of us are animated by the same goal--bringing peace and security to the people of Israel as well as to the Palestinians. We may choose different paths to reach that goal, depending on where we choose to make our lives and the attiutudes we imbibed from our parents and our life experiences (that of Ze'ev and Penina having been so much harder, so unimaginably harder, than my own). Yet we are all on the same team, be oto ha tzevet.

So I am going to dedicate my efforts to strengthen ties between Jews and muslism worldwide to the memory of Ze'ev Sharon z"l, a proud Jew and a fighter for Israel and to the memory of Avinoam Sharon, who was taken from us all much too young by the same terrible conflict, and to the future of all of our children and grandchildren--my beautiful little Israeli nieces and nephews, that we may all live to see the coming of peace and that the little ones will grow up safe and free.

Love to You All,


"Tracing Ringel family roots"

Shalom, It is Danny here adding my deep sympathies for all of Ze'ev's wonderful family. I regret that I have not visited you in all these many years and that I did not renew my connection with Ze'ev before his passing.

One small contribution I can make is to review some of the knowledge of the Ringel family history that I gained during my research project into our family roots. Sad to say, that work has been on hold for most of the past year, but this solemn occasion might be the catalyst for me to take up that work again, just as our initial project was set in motion by the deaths of parents, Helga and Stan.

So here is some of what we learned: Ze'ev's grandparents on his mother's side were Schija Ringel (1856-?) and Feigla Kauffler (1854-1921). Schija was a merchant who had came to Berlin from Rzeszow in Galicia as a young man. It was not uncommon by the second half of the 19th century for Jewish youth to be leaving their traditional towns for the progress and opportunities of cosmopolitan cities.

Similarly, Feigla had come from Krakow to make a living as a housekeeper. She came to work for Schija in that role, but their relationship later became personal. Their first child, Herman, arrived in November 1885, though they didn't formalize their marriage until July 1888. Later they would have two other children, Bette and Rosa.

Your family members will know much more than I do about Rosa's family, and also Bette's, and I would love to learn more from you about Ze'ev's life story, as well as what you have learned about his cousins Edith and Gina. About Hermann, we know that he served in World War I, became prosperous in the garment business, married Elly and had a daughter Helga. Walter's account of Helga's early life is very rich (link below). There are some good photos on the blog (links below). Hermann died of natural causes in Berlin in 1938, and his widow and daughter fled Germany soon after, eventually settling in New York in 1942.

[Ruby Family History text (Helga's story begins on page 35):
[Page with photos and documents for Hermann Ringel:]

Going back in the other direction, we have located official records from their ancestral towns for both Schija and Feigla and a number of their relatives. Schija's birth record (link below) does not provide a great deal of information, but we see that his parents are Moses and Rose. I also have similar records for several other Ringels that are not posted on the blog. Another artifact in my possession is a copy of the yizkor book for Rzeszow, which does not have specific information on the Ringels, as far as I can tell, but paints a rich picture of life in the town in the 19th century. There are also census records that I have not yet obtained. As I say, there are lots of loose ends and I hope to post more of this information on the blog sometime soon.

[Schija Ringel birth record:]

Information about the Kaufflers in Krakow is much more extensive, and we can trace our ancestors back quite a few generations to Nachman Kaufler (born in Krakow in 1755). Nachman had Izaak, Izaak had Schulim, and Schulim had 10 children including Abraham Mojzesa Kaufler (b. 1829). Abraham married Chaja Esther Grunberg (b. 1826) and Feigla was one of their three children. An assortment of vital records are linked below. The full Kaufler family tree is provided in a link below.

[Feigla Kaufler 1854 birth record:]
[Schulim Kaufler and Reisel Bluma Singlust 1825 marriage record:
[Schulim Kaufler 1847 death record:]
[Bayla Kaufler 1831 death record (mother of Schulim):]
[Kaufler family tree:

In the coming days, I plan to post news of Ze'ev's passing along with stories and images from Joanne and Walter. If there is anything that any of you might wish to contribute to our small memorial, especially text that helps to fill in his life story, I would appreciate that very much. In the meantime, I hope this little bit of Ringel family information is interesting and helpful to you.

With great sorrow for the passing of our elders but great hope for our children and their future,



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