Dr. Ruth, in Search of Love

Dr. Ruth is here looking for love.

In Ruth Westheimer's quest for a new partner, she is waltzing to French music, dining on fish by the Mediterranean, and sipping coffee in Tel Aviv cafes. Although one date this week did not set off fireworks, the twice-divorced and once widowed sexologist has high hopes for another meeting tonight.

"I want to show the world that even though I am 76, I do not give up," Westheimer said by phone from her Tel Aviv hotel as she watched the sun set over the sea. "You should make sure that you are out there ... don't be desperate, do something you like."

Dr. Ruth has made no secret about her intentions. She has appeared on several radio and TV programs during her current three-week visit, drawing flirtations from a number of callers. She quickly dismissed one man who admitted he was married.

Westheimer's chosen man should be over 65, interesting, Jewish, have a sense of humor and "joie de vivre." He doesn't have to have money, nor does he have to be as "energetic crazy" as she is, and he should also have interests in life although they don't have to be the same as hers, like chess.

Dr. Ruth has married and divorced twice, and her third husband died seven years ago.

On a blind date Tuesday night, Westheimer danced two waltzes before treating the prospective man to a fish dinner in the romantic Old City of Jaffa. But she still has not found the right man, and she will have coffee tonight with another prospect.

As part of her visit, Westheimer met a famous Jerusalem rabbi, expecting to receive a special blessing to aid her in her quest. But Rabbi David Batzri only offers blessings to who have already found their matches, she said, though he did give her information for a course on the Jewish family that she teaches at Princeton University.

The German native was saved from the Holocaust when her parents sent her, at the age of 10, to a Swiss school. Much of her family perished in the war, but Westheimer immigrated to Israel as a teenager and was later seriously wounded fighting in the War of Independence.