djn-1949-04-22-0-015Live and learn. Kari Alterman wrote to me about an error in my Quick Click on Bert Ruby, her great-uncle. A source I used was not reliable — Ruby was born in Ermihalyfalva, Hungary (now Valea Lui Mihai, Romania), not Columbus, Ohio.

I do apologize for my error. But, there is a very good side to my mistake: I learned some very interesting facts about Ruby.

Ruby was a generous man, and through his promotion of wrestling shows in Michigan, raised a lot of money for charities. If one searches the pages of the JN, it is also evident that both Bert and his wife, Irene, were deeply involved in Detroit’s Jewish community. But, the Rubys’ humanity went beyond their public work, and the most heartwarming story was not reported in the papers.

Emery Grosinger, Alterman’s father and Rudy’s nephew, was an orphaned, teenage Holocaust survivor. He arrived in Detroit in 1948, and Bert and Irene took him in as if he was their own son.

So, while Ruby, the “Maygar Hercules,” was a big man, his heart was bigger.

Thanks for writing to me, Kari!

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at

By: Mike Smith, Detroit Jewish News Foundation Archivist

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