Official Bio

Ritasue was born and educated in New York, where she earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree from New York University. She was a singer in the Zamir Chorale in New York, and she was a community activist in the Philadelphia Jewish community.

On two separate occasions, Ritasue was sent to meet with Jewish Refuseniks in the former Soviet Union, to teach and perform for them the music of Israel, and to gather information about their status. In 1970 she was sent to Russia by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to gather information on the Leningrad Hijacking  trial. Purim of 1981 marked her second visit where she was briefed and send by the Soviet Jewry Council of Philadelphia. In addition to performing & teaching Refuseniks, she was gathering information to help politically in their struggle to emigrate.

Ritasue has taught music at many of the Philadelphia Hebrew day schools, taught Israeli music at both a summer camp in Salonica, Greece and in the first Jewish summer camp in Hungary after the fall of Communism (in a program sponsored by the Ronald Lauder Foundation).When there was a civil war in Yugoslavia, many non-Jews from Sarajevo fled to Israel until it was safe for them to return to their homes and their country.

They were put in absorption centers in northern Israel, where Ritasue would come one day a week and teach Israeli music to both the adults and the children. She has performed throughout France on behalf of Israel Bonds, raising awareness & money for the state of Israel. She taught Israeli music to immigrants from Ethiopia, in the absorption centers, as part of their Ulpan, to help ease the absorption process.

Ritasue sang before an audience of 3,500 people at a memorial ceremony for Simcha Holzberg, z”l, the father of wounded soldiers, in the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, in the presence of then prime minister, Yitzchak Rabin, z”l. She is a member of the National Speaker’s Bureau of UJA, Israel Bonds, and Hadassah, performing for communities throughout North America.

Ritasue has been featured in many national and international media publications and recently was honored as Israel’s “Hero of the Week” by Israel’s most widely watched and popular television talk show.

Among her noteworthy performances, Ritasue delighted the Jewish community of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, in one of the Western Hemisphere’s oldest synagogue.

Ritasue  began performing for Israel’s wounded soldiers during the first Lebanese war in 1982. In 2011, Ritasue was named the Lion’s Club, Israel, Jerusalem’s Woman of the Year. She is officially recognized as a member of the IDF Medical Corps. She was honored by then Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, for her contributions to the welfare of Israel’s soldiers, and was chosen to participate in an elite IDF military mission to Poland, known as “Edim B’Madim” (witnesses in uniform). In ceremonies in the death camps, commemorating the lives and memories of the six million who perished, Ritasue, in full IDF uniform, sang in Yiddish before hundreds of Israeli commanding officers – a memory she will cherish forever. Today, she lives in Netanya and spends each day in hospitals across the country, saluting, hugging, and singing for the brave soldiers of Israel.