Weaving Women's Words Baltimore Stories
Ruth Surosky Levy

We were Zionists before it was fashionable to become Zionists. My parents were Labor Zionists. We always believed that there was going to be a Jewish homeland. I am intensely Jewish. I've been that way as long as I can remember. Israel's very important to me. I feel that you can embrace many other things in the world, but your Jewish identity is important and distinctive.

Ruth Surosky Levy

Ruth Surosky Levy was passionate about her family and her Judaism. She was born in 1922, just 1 year after her Russian immigrant parents settled in West Baltimore. During her childhood, Ruth's mother convened meetings of the Zionist group, Pioneer Women, in the family's store, Surosky's Butcher Shop. Having absorbed her family's dedication to Zionism, Ruth was involved in Zionist schools, camps, and organizations throughout her life. The U.S. had entered the war by the time she graduated from the University of Maryland in 1942. Ruth didn’t hesitate to leave short-lived jobs in high school teaching and at the Department of Public Works to enlist in the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) where she worked as a communications officer. In 1943, Ruth married Stanley Levy while both were serving in the military. The couple had four children: Stevan, Michael, Edward, and Laura. In the early years of their marriage, Ruth assisted Stanley in his dental practice. An active volunteer in many civic, Zionist, and Jewish communal organizations, she returned to teaching and interior design work after her children were grown. Following their retirement in 1980, Ruth and her husband continued to explore their mutual interests in family, theater and travel. Ruth passed away in Baltimore on September 24, 2012.


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© 2004 Jewish Women's Archive. Photograph by Joan Roth