Dr. Ruth Westheimer at the 2015 Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

Dr Ruth Westheimer 

Dr. Ruth Westheimer at the 2015 Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

 

Filmmakers - and especially Jewish filmmakers - have been showing us stories of relationships, both funny and dramatic, for decades. Many of these, of course, had their own quirks, idiosyncrasies, and troubles. And what better person to council us on these troubles than Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the world renowned psychosexual therapist?

 

Dr. Ruth Westheimer was a special Honorary Guest at the 2015 Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, which was held from December 7 – 12, 2015 at the Jerusalem Cinematheque and sponsored in part by the Jerusalem Foundation. In a special Friday afternoon session, Dr. Ruth proffered her wise and humorous advice, both to audience members and to the characters in the various film and video clips that were shown, from Woody Allen’s New York Stories and Annie Hall to When Harry Met Sally to Seinfeld and Inside Amy Schumer.  Interviewed by Israeli comedy writer and creative director Omri Marcus, Dr. Ruth also shared some of her personal experiences, from fighting as a sniper during Israel’s War of Independence to the satisfaction of not changing her accent. “When I came to America, they wanted me to take classes to get rid of my accent. I refused. Now Debra Jo Rupp [from “That 70s Show,” who is playing Dr. Ruth in the play, “Becoming Dr. Ruth,”] needed to hire a speech coach to mimic my accent. Now that’s irony.”

 

A question and answer period followed the clip screenings, where audience members asked Dr. Ruth more about her opinions on a range of topics. She concluded the event with a short reception, signing her new children’s book Leopold, about a turtle named Leopold who overcomes his fears, which has just been translated into Hebrew.