After graduating from Zanesville High School in 1961, Ruth won a Shinnick Scholarship and went to The Ohio State University where she majored in English and German, earning both a B.A. and an M.A. in English.
She married her first husband, Don Federman, in 1967, and they then moved to Syracuse, New York. She started her teaching career in the Syracuse City School District as an English teacher at Corcoran High School. In 1983, she was elected Commissioner of Education for Syracuse and served on the school board until 1991, including two years as board president. In 1989, she started working on her Ph.D. in Instructional Design, Development, and Evaluation at Syracuse University and completed the degree in 1995.
Ruth held a number of different positions at Syracuse University: Project Advance consultant, part-time instructor in the Writing Program, teaching consultant, and interim director of the newly established Academic Integrity Office. She is co-author of two books, Using Student Teams in the Classroom: A Faculty Guide, and, Building and Sustaining Learning Communities: The Syracuse University Experience, as well as author of a number of articles. After retiring from Syracuse University, she started teaching as an adjunct professor at LeMoyne College in Syracuse.
In her spare time, Ruth has been active in the Syracuse Jewish community, serving two years as president of Congregation Beth Sholom Chevra Shas, president of Sisterhood, on the board of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School, and is incoming Chair of the Board of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. She plays tennis, gardens, hikes, and loves to travel. She and her husband Joel, whom she married in 1991, visited Israel this year and traveled around the country with family members from Israel, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, and the USA.
She and Joel are the proud parents of five adult children: Andy, Josh, Nate, Eric, and Caryn and six grandchildren. Ruth is the daughter of Gerda and the late Rabbi Simon Friedeman, who served as rabbi in Zanesville from 1954-1964. Her parents escaped from Germany in 1939-40.
Presenter: Sanford "Sandy" Phippen