Dr. Ruth Westheimer, America’s favorite sex therapist, keeps reinventing herself. She’s next coming out as a vintner with her own private label California wine with an appropriate brand name, Vin D’Amour (grapes of love).
“It will be sold in Costco and grocery stores,” she said. “That’s because the alcohol content is only 6 percent, half the usual amount.”
The diminutive ball of fire was already shilling for it at her 84th birthday party on June 5 (a day late) at the Museum of Jewish Heritage-Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
Attorney Jeffrey Tabak, of Weil, Gotshal and Manges, led 200 guests “and 56,000 Twitter followers” in a toast “to our Ruth.”
The grandmotherly sex guru was thrilled. “They said the museum is so far downtown that nobody will come. Look at all the people!”
She gave museum director Dr. David Marwell a list of people to thank for coming to her party. “If I announce all the names on her list,” Marwell said, “we’d be here till her 85th birthday.”
Until then she will see herself portrayed on stage by Debra Jo Rupp, best known for her eight years (1998-2006) in That ‘70s Show on Fox. The one-woman play, Dr. Ruth All The Way, will run for a month starting June 30 at the Barrington Stage in Pittsfield in the Berkshires.
And in November Quill Driver Books will publish Dr. Ruth's Guide to the Alzheimer's Caregiver. It’s her 37th book.
Furthermore, Dr. Ruth is profiled in the BBC series, Extraordinary Women. Although her episode is not yet scheduled for American release, we saw a screening at her birthday party.
The film showed how she escaped the Nazis as a 10-year-old in the kindertransport to Switzerland, her arrival as an orphan in Palestine, postwar life in a kibbutz, training as a sniper in the Haganah during the birth of Israel, education in Paris and eventual settlement in New York.
She wanted to clarify one thing about the film. The BBC production hinted that she left Israel because she was “disillusioned.”
“I was not disillusioned with Israel. I go there every year. I was disillusioned with the collective life of the kibbutz. Having been an only child, being in a collective was not for me.”
During the war groups of Jewish children were sent from Germany to safe haven in France, Belgium and Holland. They perished when the Nazis invaded. Ruth was part of a group that went to Switzerland.
“I ended up alive,” Ruth said. “I have an obligation for the rest of my life to make a difference for a better world. I didn’t know it would be in the area of sex.”