Ruth Marcus Patt

Ruth Marcus Patt (1919- ) served as an active member of the Jewish community of New Brunswick.

Patt joined Hadassah, a women’s Zionist organization founded before the formation of the state of Israel in 1947. The organization focused on serving Jews living in Palestine. Patt rose through the ranks to become the group’s president in 1952 and then the New Brunswick chapter president in 1954. For fifteen years, Patt produced and edited the southern New Jersey’s regional Hassadah newsletter. Patt also took an active role in New Brunswick’s Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple; she served as the president of its sisterhood for two years. As one of the first elected women to the temple’s Board of Trustees, Patt also wrote its monthly bulletin.

In 1977, Patt formed the Jewish Historical Society of Raritan Valley. During her term as president, the society grew to encompass a tri-county region and later became the Jewish Historical Society of Central Jersey. That same year, Patt helped establish the Jewish Archives of Central Jersey which still exists today.

As a citizen committed to the city of New Brunswick, Patt became the general chair of the 1980 City of New Brunswick Tercentennial Celebration. The celebration involved 130 events and included diverse ethnic and religious groups. As a result, Patt inspired the creation of written histories of the African-American and Hispanic communities of New Brunswick. In 1981 Patt received the citizen of the year award.

Throughout her lifetime, Patt was recognized for her contributions to many communities. She received the New Jersey Historical Commission’s Award of Recognition, the Douglass Society Award for distinction in public service, the Rutgers University Medal which is the highest honor conferred by Rutgers upon an individual for service to the university. The Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, which awarded Patt a Leadership Award in 1981. She and her husband both received the Lehman Award for Service to the Jewish People.




Patt, Ruth M. The Jewish Scene in New Jersey’s Raritan Valley, 1698-1948. New Brunswick: Jewish Historical Society of Raritan Valley, 1978.


Journal Articles: 

Patt, Ruth Marcus. 1987. New Jersey Jewish history: a bibliographical guide. [New Brunswick, N.J.]: Jewish Historical Society of Central Jersey.

  • Burstyn, Joan N. 1990. “Ruth Marcus Patt”. Past and Promise, Lives of New Jersey Women.