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Museum Musings

11.24.15: Chutzpah, That’s Dr. Ruth!

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Chutzpah, that's Dr. Ruth! Almost 5 feet of chutzpah, and then another 5 feet of fierce joie de vivre!

When I first heard that Dr. Ruth would be coming to the Museum I thought that I would see a hundred-year-old woman talking about sex.  I remember in my earlier years hearing Dr. Ruth talking about things that nobody really talked about out loud. And she educated us all in life and sex. But now I’ve grown up and so has she.

As an educator, therapist, mother, and friend, I understand the ups and downs of living. During the 60s I was part of the women’s movement and marched with some of the greats like Gloria Steinem. I was open and ready to learn from Dr. Ruth when she came into her prime. When I was practicing in the 80s and 90s, I often referred to her as a role model. She truly was part of the psychology lexicon.

Monday night, almost 600 people heard her talk on living life with verve, excitement, and joy. “Seize the day” was her primary message. Enjoy the moment. Life itself is living. Although we always hear about living life to the fullest, she takes it one step beyond. She was a perfect fit for this Museum as it educates the public and connects people closer with their pasts.  

I didn’t see a hundred-year-old woman last Monday night. I didn’t see a woman who escaped the Holocaust. I didn’t see a woman who lost her parents at a young age. I saw a woman full of excitement, energy, knowledge, and joy.

-Dr. Judy Finkel volunteers at the Museum as one of two academic liaisons who founded and now oversee the Museum’s thriving internship program.