Ruth Shaffer was born in Warsaw, the daughter of the Yiddish writer, Sholem Asch. She lived in Europe and America, before settling in London, where she and her husband joined Westminster Synagogue. Her friendship with Rabbi Reinhart led him to invite her to help with the increasing workload of the Scrolls organisation, a task which she fulfilled faithfully for nearly forty years, working almost single handedly for much of the time. She set up the scrolls database, first on index cards and later on computer, which she learned to use in her eighties. Her system was the basis for all the subsequent work connected with the scrolls. She was the driving force behind the project and she and the Trust became synonymous. Her ability to speak Yiddish was crucial in her close working relationship with David Brand, the¬†Sofer.