Ruby Daniel

Ruby Daniel’s memoir of her life in India revealed not only the rich culture of her childhood but also her experiences as a Jewish woman in the Indian Navy, serving alongside Muslim and Hindu men. The first girl from her community to complete high school, Daniel attended St. Theresa’s College for a year before dropping out to support her family when her father and grandfather died. She served for fifteen years as a government clerk, then served in the Navy from 1944–1946. After making Aliyah in 1951, she joined Kibbutz Neot Mordekhai in the Upper Galilee, where she worked in the kitchen and laundry for forty years. In 1982 she began translating Jewish songs of her childhood from Malayalam to English, and in 1995 published Ruby of Cochin: An Indian Jewish Woman Remembers, which she wrote in collaboration with anthropologist Barbara C. Johnson. The book sparked interest in the traditions and culture of the Jewish community of Cochin, drawing translators to continue her work in preserving the songs and stories of her childhood home.


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An olah from India, Ruby Daniel (1912 – 2002) spent the first half of her life in the ancient Jewish community of Cochin, where she developed her gifts as a compelling storyteller.

Institution: Barbara Johnson.

Date of Birth


Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ruby Daniel." (Viewed on July 7, 2020) <>.


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