Ruth Jungster Frankel

Hebrew teacher Ruth Jungster Frankel.

Courtesy of Joan Roth

Leaving Germany

“Leaving Germany was a most traumatic experience for both my sister and myself. To leave my parents at the railroad station. Leaving and never knowing if you would ever see them again. And, of course, my Mom had such great words of wisdom always to impart on us. She would say, before she left, she said, ‘Children, never go to bed angry, even if you get married. Give lots of tzedakah [charity]. Be charitable. Be kind. Don’t criticize anybody’s children if you have your own.’ She was just a very ethical person. That was a moment I will never forget.

“I taught Hebrew to fourth grade children. Children are eager to learn new things. So it was a real pleasure and satisfaction. When you teach, you really have to have the personal commitment in order to have any kind of influence. We did beautiful things with them. Twice a month Hebrew school children in my class would come for dinner Friday nights. And we invited the parents for dessert. They could hardly wait. They would say, ‘Mrs. Frankel, when can we come for dinner?’ They still talk about it. I see parents coming up to me, today, and say, ‘I'll never forget you.’”

Her husband was ill for several years before his death in 2008. Ruth served as his primary caregiver.

“When you get married you say, ‘In sickness and in health,’ you know? But this is so natural. If you love somebody, you don’t even think about it. It came. We had such a perfect marriage. So it’s a natural thing.

“My grandchildren, of course, learned from this experience, tremendously. They have been tremendously supportive. And the only thing I can tell them-advise them to have a beautiful marriage. Bring their children up in a Jewish way. And lead a happy, healthy, ethical, charitable life. Mainly, keep their marriage together. And, be respectful to everyone.”

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Ruth Jungster Frankel." (Viewed on April 21, 2024) <>.