September 6, 2023

A Tribute to Dr. Ruth Legow, a Pillar of our Community

Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ are saddened by the passing of Dr. Ruth G. Legow z”l, a dedicated community leader and philanthropist. She, along with her husband, Gerald, and family have been long-time major donors to the UJA Annual Campaign at the Achim ($100,000) level. She and Gerry were among the earliest and most influential members of the William & Betty Lester Society, which recognizes donors making major gifts to build endowments for the future of the UJA Campaign.

The Legows continue to lead the way for our community, recently making a gift in our Federation’s historic Centennial Campaign. They are recognized at one of the highest levels in the Centennial Campaign and in the Lester Society.

Ruth was a pioneer in educating Lions of Judah (women who make a gift of $5,000 or more) on why leaving a legacy gift is so important. She recruited dozens of women to endow their campaign gifts, making Greater MetroWest a leader of Lion of Judah endowments (LOJE) nationally.

Dr. Legow served on various committees and chaired many programs and campaign initiatives, including serving as chair of the Livingston Women’s Campaign and serving on the board of trustees of Federation, Jewish Community Housing Corporation, Jewish Historical Society, JESPY House, Oheb Shalom Congregation, the Women’s Division of Business and Professional Women, and Women’s Philanthropy. She also served on the boards of the Jewish Museum, the Jewish Book Council, Jewish Women’s Foundation of NJ, Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey, and the National Council of English Teachers. She was a life member of Brandeis Women, a fellow of the Philosophy of Education Society, and a board member of the John Dewey Society.

Ruth, along with her husband, Gerry, was an avid art collector and world traveler. UJA missions to Israel inspired two major endeavors; a library was built in Ra’anana and the Legow Family Israel Program Center (IPC) was created in our Federation. Ruth, Gerry, and Gerry’s mother, Netty Legow-Blacker, along with the Legow Family, initiated the IPC to bring Israel themed and Israel-based programs, events, and missions to the Greater MetroWest community.

She graduated Douglas College (BA), Rutgers University (MA), and received her EdD from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She taught English at Hillside High School and then at West Orange High School, where she enjoyed a long and distinguished career with the West Orange Township Board of Education.

Our condolences go to Gerald, their three children and their spouses, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. May her memory be a blessing.