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Cleveland-based Philanthropist Ruby Bass, 91

Ruby Bass, renowned philanthropist for State of Israel Bonds and the women’s division of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, died September 28 at the age of 91.

“She was ageless and elegant,” said Barbara Goldfarb, development director of Cleveland Heights’s Park Synagogue. Bass was a “lifelong” member for the synagogue for more than 50 years. “Ruby was so generous, and a true leader. She really inspired a generation of women to follow in her footsteps.” Park Synagogue is creating a permanent memorial fund in her name to support outstanding female leaders in the Jewish community.

Born Ruby Chertkoff in Ontario and having grown up in Cleveland, she graduated from Glenville High School before marrying Max Bass in 1938. While selling real estate, she raised four children and took leadership roles in the Jewish community.

Bass and her husband were stars on the dance floor as well as in philanthropic circles. A spirited ballroom and Latin dancer, Bass was known to strut down the runway doing the Charleston as she modeled the latest Israeli fashions to raise money for State of Israel Bonds. An active volunteer in the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and the Park Synagogue choir, she became Cleveland’s “Lion of Judah” representative because of her personal philanthropic involvement with the Jewish community. Bass was also a past president of B’nai Brith Women.

More than 500 people attended her funeral Sunday. Bass is survived by four children, nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and three siblings.

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