‘Spongebob,’ ‘Cats,’ ‘Rent,’ ‘Color Purple’ and more coming to Dayton
“She has a powerful Jewish story and she is well known. She is a phenomenal speaker, charming, brilliant and has very deeply meaningful things to teach us,” Gardner said.
Interest in Westheimer’s visit has been so great that the federation is moving the event from the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture & Education and exploring how to open it up to more people. A new location is being secured.
The event is a fundraiser which has featured a list of past speakers that includes journalist David Gregory; businesswoman Randi Zuckerberg; writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt and Lior Raz of the Netfix show "Fauda."
Gardner said additional information about Westheimer's visit will be released on the Federation's website, jewishdayton.org, sometime in March.
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Born in Germany in 1928, Westheimer was sent to school in Switzerland at the age of 10 to escape the Holocaust, the genocide that killed her parents, according to a biography.com entry on her life.
She moved to Palestine at age 16 and became a sniper and scout for the Haganah, a Jewish underground movement that fought to create a Jewish homeland, the site says.
Westheimer later moved to the United States and eventually earned a doctorate degree in family and sex counseling through Columbia University.
She has penned several books and received numerous honorary degrees over the years.
Two plays have been produced about her life.
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The documentary “Ask Dr. Ruth” about the 4-foot-7-inch tall, 90-year-old’s life and career is set to debut on Hulu.
Gardner said Westheimer’s life story is important to hear.
“We are losing a lot of our Holocaust survivors as time goes on. We don’t want to lose the opportunity to hear as many stories as we can,” she said.