(L-R): Debra Bradley Ruder (grand-daughter) – actor – Ellen W, Kaplan (playwright) – actor
SCARSDALE, NY — March 12, 2014 — On Sunday afternoon, March 9th the Westchester Region of Hadassah joined the Scarsdale Library to present The Grain of the Wood, a play about the life of Justine Wise Polier. This inspiring story is about the life of Justine Wise Polier, a visionary family court judge, who dedicated her life to improving the lives of disadvantaged children and fighting social injustice. She was the first woman justice in New York State. The daughter of prominent Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and child advocate Louise Waterman Wise. Polier worked with close friend Eleanor Roosevelt to open a school for delinquent boys in New York and worked to rescue 20,000 German refugee children desperate to escape Hitler.
The playwright is Ellen W. Kaplan, a professor at Smith College. She collaborated with Polier’s grand-daughter Debra Bradley Ruder whose vast collection of her grandmother’s papers, plus interviews with those that knew Justine Wise Polier, created the material for this three-person play. Over 140 people attended the performance.