Ruth Alexander Zeilberger (The Mother of Doron Zeilberger)

Last Update: May 27, 2022

(Eva) Ruth (Alexander) Zeilberger was born on Aug. 2, 1915, in Berlin, Germany, to Paul Alexander(1870-1942) and Elfride (Pinner) Alexander(c. 1875-1942) . After graduating from high-school, she entered a teacher training college, preparing to be a kinder-garten teacher.

After graduating, On July 1938, she immigrated to Palestine, and became a student at the `Midrasha lemorei Musika' (College(Seminary) for music teachers), and was certified as a music teacher. On May 24, 1942 she volunteered to the ATS, the women's corps of the Palestine unit of the British army, and was stationed for most of the time in Alexandria, Egypt. She eventually became a First Sergeant.

In Alexandria she met, and became a very good friend of, (William) Harry Gabb (April 5, 1909- March 16, 1995), CVO, an organ player, who also gave her organ lessons. Harry later became sub-organist of St. Paul's Cathedral, and organist of Her Majesty's Royal Chapel
[Harry's only son is Roger Michael Gabb, a wine-businessman]

After her discharge from the British Army, on March 21, 1946, she moved back to Jerusalem, teaching music in elementary schools. In 1948, during the war of independence, she was drafted, and became Lieutenant in the Women's corps (Khen) of the Israeli Defense Force. After the War of Independence she moved to Tel-Aviv, where she met her husband, Yehuda Heinz Zeilberger(1915-1994), in a party held in the apartment (in Gordon Street, Tel-Aviv) of her music and rythmics guru, the legendary Kaethe Jacob. Kaethe Jacob shared the apartment with her good friend Clara Jacobson. Ruth was invited to the party by Kaethe and Yehuda was invited by Clara, so both deserve credit for the "shidukh" (and as a corollary, to the creation of Gil, Doron, and recursively, their current and future descendants).
[Added April 30, 2012: I just scanned Kaethe Jacob's classic book, that Ruth loved: part 1, part 2).]

Ruth and Yehuda were married on Feb. 28, 1949.

In 1950 they moved to Haifa, where Doron Zeilberger was born. Shortly after, they moved into a former chicken coop, in the farm of her sister Marianne and her husband Alfred, in Kfar Bialik, near Haifa. A few months later, they moved to an apartment in shikun Pentagon, Kiryat Motzkin (Rehov Yehuda Halevy 5). In Jan. 11, 1952, her second son, Gil Haim Zeilberger, was born. Between 1955 and 1958 Ruth and her family were in Kopenhagen, Denmark, where Yehuda was sent, by the Jewish Agency, to teach Hebrew to the local Jews. After their return to Israel, in 1958, Ruth worked part-time, teaching recorder to the neighborhood kids (including Doron and Gil).

(Here is a family photo, ca. 1955 and a family photo, ca. 1959 .)

In 1963 she took an intensive one-year course for the teaching of Rythmics, and got certified again. In 1964, the family moved from Motzkin to Holon, near Tel-Aviv. Ruth got a full-time teaching position in special education, teaching music and movement to very retarded children. (Read her Introduction to a Demo-Lesson she gave to colleagues c. 1970.) She held this job until her retirement in 1977.

In 1977 she became sick, and died on Oct. 22, 1979. She was the best mother in the world, and always cheerful. She loved reading.

Added Aug. 31, 2011: My brother Gil has just discovered the following Hebrew essays written by Ruth only a few months after her arrival in Palestine, for the Hebrew lessons in the Seminary for Music Teachers. He also found
Added Oct. 15, 2012: Read 6-year old Ruth's letter to her grandmother Anna Moritz Pinner (dictated to her mother Elfriede) [transcription [thanks to Karola Nick]] and 25-year-old Ludwig's letter to his 12-year-old sister Ruth.
Added Jan. 8, 2013: Read the beautiful transcriptions of Karola Nick of letters to Ruth in this directory.
Added Feb. 17, 2013: Read Karola Nick's transcription of Katherina Wolff's birthday letter (Aug. 2, 1946) to (my mother) Ruth Zeilberger
Added Jan. 23, 2013: Read Karola Nick's description of Ruth Alexander Zeilberger's nachlass at the Frankfurt Jewish museum. (Thanks to Karola Nick and Michael Lenarz).
Added March 6, 2013: Read the additional letters of Karola Nick starting with this directory. Also first transcription and second transcription.
Added March 27, 2013: Read summaries of letters of Gitti to Ruth [thanks to Karola Nick] .
Added May 5, 2013: Read summaries of summaries of letters to Ruth from her parents and sister (in German) and Karola Nick's biograpies of Frieda and Paul Alexander (.doc) (in German) [ previous version (.pdf)]
[thanks to Karola Nick!] .
Added Oct. 30, 2013: Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Karola Nick and Michael Lenarz, the Ruth Alexander Zeilberger's nachlass is available from the Jewish Franfurt Museum!

Added July 6, 2021: Here is a photo of Ruth and Yehuda, taken March 8, 1949, just sent to me by my dear first-cousin-once-removed Michal Eylon. The picture was at the wedding party of Michal Eylon's parents (Rivka and Shmuel Barkai). It was only eight days after my parents' weddding.

Her children are: Gil Zeilberger and Doron Zeilberger(b. July 2, 1950).

Her parents are: Paul Alexander(1870-1944) and

Elfride (Pinner) Alexander (1875-1944).

Added Jan. 6, 2004: On Dec. 30, 2003, I visited my mother's grave. She is buried at the Herzlia Cemetery [Bet Almin Herzlia], on Pinsker St. The location of her grave is: Gush Vav, Khelka Dalet, Shura 9, No. 16. The inscription on the stone reads:
                    ruth zeilberger
                     lebet alexander
               nun pe' alef khesvan tav shin"mem
                  bat samekh"dalet lekhayeah
                     tav nun tsadek bet" heh

Added Aug. 2, 2013: Here is a directory with various photographs of Ruth and her family.

Added April 22, 2022: Here is Ruth's swimming certificate (from 1927, when she was 12 years old, it says that she can swim continuously for a whole hour) [courtesy of Gil Zeilberger]
Added Oct. 11, 2013: Karola Nick kindly transcribed letters to Ruth from her sisters Marianne and Gertude from 1946 and 1947 here.

Added May 28, 2022: Here is Ruth's sister's Gertrude note [courtesy of Gertrude's daughther, Anne Howson]

Previous Updates:

May 5, 2013 [To put links to Karola Nick's wonderful summaries of the letters of Paul and Frieda to Ruth and her sisters, and her short biographical sketches] April 18, 2013: to correct the immigration date of Ruth (thanks to Karola Nick)

Feb. 17, 2013: to put a link to Karola Nick's transcription of Katherina Wolff's birthday letter to (my mother) Ruth Zeilberger.

Feb. 17, 2013 (thanks to Karola Nick)

Jan. 23, 2013 (to put a link to the nachlass at the Frankfurt Jewish museum).

Jan. 8, 2013 (thanks to Karola Nick), to add Karola's transcriptions of Letters to Ruth in this directory.

April 30, 2012 [To put a link to Ruth's Rythhmics guru, Kathe Jacob's seminal book (in Hebrew) "Khinuch Ritmi" (Rythmical Education): part I, part II).

Aug. 31, 2011 [Thanks to Gil Zeilberger, to place documents and essays (see below)]

Aug. 4, 2009 (to link to some pictures).

Dec. 31, 2000.

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