Jessie Ethel Sampter, author of the play "The New Apostasy," was an American Zionist educator, poet, and feminist leader. Sampter was a close friend and colleague of Henrietta Szold, first president of Hadassah. Born in New York City on March 22, 1883, Sampter was the daughter of wealthy German Jewish parents. Frail and crippled by polio as a child, she did not attend school and was largely self-educated. Henrietta Szold was among a handful of individuals who introduced Sampter to Zionism and the two became lifelong friends and philosophical comrades. In 1915, Sampter founded Hadassah's School of Zionism. As director of the school, she conducted its class on Zionism, composed Zionist manuals, and co-edited a textbook on Zionism that had three editions. She was considered Zionism's premier educator in America at that time. In 1919, she moved to Palestine, where she settled on a kibbutz, and advocated for peaceful relations between Jews and Arabs. Sampter channelled her pacifist convictions into advocacy of good relations between Jews and Arabs and wrote poetry to promote this ideal. Concerned for the welfare of Yemenite Jews, she undertook the education of Yemenite girls and adopted a Yemenite child before her untimely death on November 11, 1938 from malaria and heart disease.
Scope and Content
This file contains three playscripts: "The Dream of Bath Zion," "The New Apostasy" by Jessie E. Sampter, and "Nishikigi" by Motokiyo. These plays were likely used as part of Betty's Hadassah activities.
Biographical information about Jessie Ethel Sampter was taken from the Jewish Women's Archive [http://jwa.org/archive/jsp/perInfo.jsp?personID=700], on Feb. 2, 2006, and hadassah.org's "Chronology" page: [http://www.hadassah.org/about/content/chron/1910f.asp], also on Feb. 2, 2006.