Dr. Ruth does a webinar (and the subject isn’t what you think)

“Ruth Westheimer (Dr. Ruth) BookExpo America 2018 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.” (Rhododendrites/Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer is a world-renowned sex therapist and cultural icon. A one-woman show about her life, “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” has played in New York and other cities, while a documentary about her life, “Ask Dr. Ruth,” was shown in theaters and can be viewed on HULU.

But did you know she was a crack-shot sniper in the 1940s?

On Thursday, the inimitable nonagenarian joined a webinar, part of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces’ (FIDF) Engage web series, in which she shared her experience surviving the Holocaust as a child and as a sniper in the Haganah (the main paramilitary organization of the Jewish population in Mandatory Palestine) from 1945 to 1948.

FIDF Engage is a temporary digital alternative to community events and galas across the United States, as many of them have been postponed due to Covid-19. Jerry Levine, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker, investigative journalist, and former Miami news anchor, moderated the event.


Dr. Ruth boasted that she was an excellent sniper and “an expert at throwing hand grenades,” while admitting that she never killed anyone. Dr. Ruth also shared that in 1948, on her 20th birthday, her legs were severely injured due to a bombing and two women next to her were killed.

Later in the webinar, Dr. Ruth referred to the benefits of serving in the IDF as a life experience. “Anybody who serves in the IDF, I can promise them, once they are finished, they will have good sex for the rest of their life,” she said.

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