At 85, Ruthie Passamaneck is always on the go.
Every Tuesday, you’ll find her in the Senior Adult Lounge at the Jewish Community Center helping serve lunch for the Jewish Community of Louisville’s (JCL) senior nutrition program – the only hot kosher meal program for seniors in Kentucky.
She’s also a member of the senior adult chorus that Henny Witzer directs. “We travel to different nursing homes” to sing, she explained. “It’s been very good for me and all the others who come enjoy it tremendously.”
And it’s not just the singers who enjoy it. “We keep getting call backs from the nursing homes,” she added.
For the Louisville native, the Center is home. “I’ve been going to the Center my whole life. It helps keep me going, and that’s where a lot of my friends are.”
“It’s important for people to come and participate in our programs,” Ruthie said. And she leads by example. In addition to the lunch program and the chorus, she comes to the JCC for monthly Bingo games and is always ready to participate in sing-alongs.
Ruthie is also very well known in the community as a caterer and as one of Adath Jeshurun’s mashgichot, jobs she has done with style for the last 23 years. “Frankye Gordon saw me at the beauty shop,” at a time when she was between jobs, Ruthie explained, “and recruited me for mashgicha.” She shares the job of supervising kashruth at AJ with her sister-in-law, Sylvia Osoffsky.
Every year when the Annual Campaign’s Super Sunday telethon rolls around, the JCL counts on Ruthie to help with the food, and every year, she does her part to help.
Ruthie has spent her life working, first for her in-laws clothing store, then for a book store and then for a collection agency before turning to catering and kashruth supervision.
When her husband, Marvin, died, Ruthie turned to the late Rabbi Solomon Roodman for help. “I am who I am today because of Rabbi Roodman guided me. He told me there isn’t anything you can’t do if you want to.”
Today, she lives in Shalom Tower, and says, “I’m very happy here. I’ve been here 23 years, and it is the best place for me.”
She has one son and a daughter-in-law, Howard and Ruth Passamaneck; a grandson, Neal; and two great-grandchildren, Isaac and Grant.