The 100-year-old volunteer

"'I’ve had a good life!' says centenarian Ruth Richman."

Ruth Richman. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Ruth Richman.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
“I’ve had a good life!” says centenarian Ruth Richman.
Richman recently celebrated her birthday a few days late with the Friends of Melabev organization, since Jerusalem’s snowstorm made it almost impossible for her to have visitors on the actual day. The lifelong Hadassah member made aliya at the age of 79 with her late husband, Nathan, after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Their daughter arrived with her family a year later.
Richman’s connection to Melabev – which provides care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia – began when her husband became a member of its day center in the capital’s San Simon neighborhood. Since then, she has participated in many key events as a volunteer.
Melabev CEO Motti Zelikovitch formally thanked her at the birthday event for all her years of volunteering and said he hoped her longevity and clear-headedness were contagious.
Richman’s volunteerism follows a lifetime of Zionist activities in her native New Haven, Connecticut, where “we had a big picture of Theodor Herzl on our living-room wall,” she recalled. She regaled her birthday visitors with stories of her trips to the former Soviet Union with her husband in the 1970s to help Jews behind the Iron Curtain.
Among the friends celebrating with her were Susan Fried, Stuart and Anne Dove, Estelle Fink, Ida Fry, Miriam Litke, Susan Sachs and Sylvia Wallis.
Hadassah’s Tamar Chapter will be holding a daylong seminar in Richman’s honor in February, and Moreshet Yisrael, her synagogue in Jerusalem, will celebrate her century with her as well.