Dr. Max S. Ribald, Meir ben Yisroel v’Fruma Chana, age 74, passed away Friday, May 27, 2022. He had a smile brighter than sunshine and a glimmer in his eye that was mostly treasure — and just a tad of trouble.
Born in Poking Pine City, a German displaced persons camp, Max was the only child of Anna and Sol Ribald, of blessed memory. His father survived five concentration camps and a death march; his mother lived through Auschwitz.
The family immigrated to New York City, with less than $12, and Max was raised in the Lower East Side projects. His father was a tailor and dressed his son finely. Jewish education was a priority; Max attended Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva.
Max was a star on the varsity basketball team, captain of the checkers team, a member of the service squad and a member of the swim team.
Until the school hired her to work in its kitchen, Max’s mother would come each day with a healthy midmorning snack, and later with his lunch. In the summertime, the Ribalds stayed with an aunt in Massachusetts; later, Max’s mother worked at sleepaway camps, allowing him to enjoy teenage summers that memories are made of. Max was always devoted to his parents, treating them with the utmost respect.
While an undergraduate student at Hunter College, Max and lifelong best friend Joe Zycherman earned money carrying animal carcasses across town for kosher butchers and unloading luggage at summer camps.
At a Hunter College party Max met Monica Stein, who would become his bride of almost 51 years; they married July 4, 1971, at Congregation Sons of Israel in Woodmere, New York. He graduated from New York College of Podiatric Medicine and did residencies at New York’s Maimonides Medical Center and Oxford Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Ribalds moved to Dallas in 1977; Max opened his Texas Footcare practice in Arlington, and a second in Fort Worth. His patients and staff were enamored of him for 45 years.
In addition to Monica, Max is survived by his son Chad and daughter-in-law Risa Ribault and their children Anna, Dasi, Adam and Ariella Rifka; son Dr. Justin “Yanki” and daughter-in-law Marissa Ribault and their children Ari, Eitan, Esther and Jackie; son Ian “Itzy” and daughter-in-law Ilana Ribald and their children Charlotte, Grace “Chaya Golda” and Claire; and dear cousin Zack “ZP” Pollack.
The legacy of Jewish education was carried on, l’dor v’dor, when the Ribald children attended Akiba Academy. With Yavneh Academy not yet open, Chad went to Hebrew Theological Seminary in Skokie, Illinois, then to Yeshiva Mevaseret. Yanki and Itzy graduated from Yavneh and Yeshiva University. All three sons earned graduate degrees.
The family first attended services with a community minyan at Akiba Academy and then at Congregation Shaare Tefilla since its founding.
For nearly 16 years Max was an assistant basketball coach for the Yavneh Academy Bulldogs. Hundreds of players felt his imprint on the court and in menschlichkeit. He brought players home for dinner, and on occasion to stay at the family home. Building people up was his gift.
Max loved basketball, a good shesh-besh (backgammon) game, dancing and singing with Monica and the glory of Shabbos including a “bisl schnapps and herring.” To Max, what mattered most was faithfulness to family, Judaism held close to the heart and giving tzedakah.
Graveside services were held May 29 at Agudas Achim Cemetery with Rabbis Ariel Rackovsky and Howard Wolk officiating.
Donations may be made to Yishag La’Ad, founded by Max Ribald to support in-need youth in Israel. For contact information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.