Ruth Olsen was inducted into our Society on Dec. 1. Here, she introduces herself and her connection to Ethical Culture:
“I am a native New Yorker who was born in Chelsea, when it was poor, 73 years ago. I was educated in the New York City Public School system. When I chose to attend Harpur College (now SUNY-Binghamton), it was because they offered no education credits, and if there was one thing I knew, it was that I didn’t want to teach. After a year of proofreading knitting books for Coats and Clark, I got my credentials and started on a 38-year-long career in New York middle schools, mostly in Inwood, Washington Heights, and Southern Bronx. I loved (almost) every minute. After I retired, I continued volunteering in friends’ schools two days a week for five years.
“When my sister Judith elected to return to the east coast, we decided to become roommates, and moved to New Jersey because our budgets could not compete with New York prices. We have lived at the Galaxy apartment towers in Guttenberg since 2007, and love what we have here. I became involved in committees and clubs at the Galaxy, and took advantage of theater and music in New York. In the past couple of years, I was elected to the School Board of Guttenberg, and am now its president. I am also on the Galaxy Board of Directors. At the last climate march, Janet Glass, my friend of 55 years, said: ‘Why don’t you just join Ethical Culture? You go to lots of our marches and support most of our events—it just makes sense!’ I thought about it over the weekend, and decided ‘yes it does,’ and so here I am!”