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RVC residents remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who married in the village


A Rockville Centre home has suddenly come into the spotlight. On Saturday, a day after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, news broke about her connection to the house on Dogwood Lane. Not only is it the home where her husband, Martin Ginsburg, grew up, but also it was the location of their wedding in 1954.

While many in the village were aware that Martin grew up in the home and attended South Side High School, few knew of the union that took place in front of the living room fireplace.

Denise Wolfson, who has lived on Dogwood Lane for 38 years, said she had been friendly with Martin’s sister and brother-in-law, Claire and Edward Stiepleman, when they owned the home, but had never known it was where the Ginsburg wedding took place. She said the Stieplemans had always been good neighbors; their children grew up together, and they often attended each other’s family events. It was at Daniel Stiepleman’s bar mitzvah when she first met  Bader Ginsburg.

“I was so thrilled to meet her,” Wolfson said. “She had such an amazing mind and accomplished so much. I’m in mourning right now — it’s such a great loss. I’m sending my love and condolences to the family.”

In addition to her husband’s family, Bader Ginsburg had another connection to Rockville Centre. In 1995, she was asked to speak at a luncheon held at Temple B’nai Sholom (now Congregation B’nai Sholom-Beth David) and sponsored by the South Shore section of the National Council of Jewish Women, an education and service organization.

CeCe Friedman, of Rockville Centre, was co-president of the section at the time, and said about 200 people attended the luncheon and listened to Bader Ginsburg discuss the Supreme Court and her journey.

“She was very lovely,” Friedman said. “It was quite an honor that she took the time to come and speak to us.”

Barbara Wortman, also of Rockville Centre, secured the Supreme Court justice as the guest speaker. Her family owns Camp Che-Na-Wah and Camp Baco in Minerva, two summer camps in the Adirondacks that were founded by Bader Ginsburg’s aunt and uncle, Sol Amster and Cornelia Schwartz, and later purchased by Wortman’s in-laws. Wortman was able to reach Bader Ginsburg through that connection and ask her to speak at the luncheon, at which she was presented with the Hannah G. Solomon Award.

“It’s the most prestigious award given out by our organization,” Wortman said, explaining that it is named for the NCJW founder. “It’s given to someone who’s life work exemplifies advocacy. She was the epitome of that to us.”