Ruch/Shevitz Family

The Ruch family was a prominent one in Rokiskis.  They were Chasidic and originated with Leyba Ruch, who had five sons that are known: 

Movsha Ruch, who had a son Abe Ruch (1882)

Kopel Ruch, who had five children:  Asna Ruch (1881-1883), Dvora Ruch (died 1881), Ete Ruch (1887), Rakhmiel Ruch (1887), and Yudel Ruch (1887)

Reuven (Fetta) Ruch, b. 1862, who married Rochel Freyda Kavalsky, (1867), had 12 children: Ittel (1887), Michel (1890-92), Rachmiel (1891), Harry (Elchonon 1892), Rose (Raizel 1893), Solomon (Sleimo 1896), Sarah (Sorrel 1896), Leah (1904), Lottie (1904), Abraham (Avrom Koppel 1905), Liebke (Ahuva 1908) and Teddy (Tuviah)

Itsik Ruch (1862), who married Chava (1861) and had four (4) children:  Zalman-Michel Ruch (1885), Rachmiel Ruch (1888), Matus-Zelik Ruch (1893), Itta-Reiza Ruch (1896)

Mikhel Ruch.

Mikhel Ruch is the son for whom the most information is known.  He married Pere and had ten children, many of whom went to South Africa. We are indebted to these children for their avid participation in the Rokisker Society and assistance with the production of the Yizkor Book. The children of Mikhel and Pere were: Gershon Ruch (1873-1883), Rabbi Yehoshua-Zelig "Zelig Rakishker" Ruch (1879) who married a Shulowitz and had a son Meyer Ruch, who was a contributor to the Rokiskis Yiskor Book, and a son Berel or Barney Ruch; Ita Ruch (1882-1887); Zelman-Yankel Ruch (1884); Rakhmiel Ruch (1893); Shmuel Ruch (1893); Rose Ruch Matz; Pesach Ruch; and Leyba Ruch. (See photos of 
Young Men from Rokiskis on main photo page.)

See a recent tour of Rokiskis (YouTube) centered around the Ruch Family, especially Pesach Ruch.  This tour was led by Daniel Gurevich.  (Please note: if you have any questions or would like to coordinate your own family virtual tour, contact Arie Katz, great grandson of Pesach Ruch.) 

The son after Shmuel Ruch was Mendel Ruch who married Asna Miller and they had six children.  This branch of the Ruch family came to Worcester, Massachusetts.  The children of this couple were Lena Ruch Shevitz, who had sons Edward, Saul and Michael Shevitz; Robert Ruch, Louis Ruch, Hymie Ruch; and a daughter, name unknown, who died young.


The family of Mendel Ruch has donated the following photos of their branch of the Ruch family:








     Mendel and Asna Ruch, Worcester, Massachusetts, c.1950

Bar Mitzvah of Saul Shevitz, grandson of Mendel and Asna Ruch, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1957

Mendel Ruch, surrounded by many of his children and grandchildren at the Bar Mitzvah of his grandson, Saul Shevitz, taken in 1957 in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Individuals in the photograph are as follows, left to right, Hymie Ruch, Bessie Ruch (wife of Hymie), Larry Ruch (son of Hymie, behind Bessie), Lena Ruch Shevitz (daughther of Mendel), Edward Shevitz (son of Lena, behind Lena), Michael Shevitz (son of Lena, in front of Lena), Saul Shevitz (son of Lena, Bar Mitzvah boy), Ernie Ruch (son of Hymie, behind Saul), Mendel Ruch (with beard), Samuel Shevitz (husband of Lena), Robert Ruch, Fran Ruch Smith (daughter of Hymie), Norman Smith (husband of Fran), Margie Ruch Kurtz (daughter of Louie), Rose Ruch (wife of Louis), and Louis Ruch.

Samuel Shevitz, the husband of Lena Ruch, was originally a Pintushevitz. His family had roots in Kupiskis, Lithuania, and other nearby shtetlach. Additional information on this connection may be found on the Kupiskis Shtetlink Site, located at:

(Note: The photos are contributed in memory of Mendel and Asna Ruch by their grandson Edward Shevitz, his son Joshua, and their family.)

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