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Ruth Alper, Retired Social Worker and ESL Tutor, Dies at 83

January 11, 2007
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Ruth Robinson Alper, 83, a retired social worker, died Dec. 30, 2006, at Albert Einstein Medical Center. She was a resident of Elkins Park.

Alper earned her bachelor's degree from Temple University in 1977, graduating summa cum laude. She went on to receive her master's degree a year later from Temple University School of Social Administration. She worked as a social worker at the Woodhaven Center for 11 years. She also worked part time for several years at the Jewish Employment and Vocational Service.

During her retirement, Alper remained active. She performed with the Temple University intergenerational improvisation group called Full Circle. They improvise material about social issues for audiences of all ages.

For more than 15 years, she tutored English as a Second Language at Partners for ESL. Since she and her husband loved to travel, this was one way to stay international while still at home. She was also a docent at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Alper's acting career began early, when she performed as a child with her sister, Rosalind. They sang and tap danced at hotels on the Jersey shore and had a radio show during the 1930s. She met her husband of 62 years, the late Mort Alper, when she went to an acting workshop in New York at age 18. They married in 1944 and were together until he died last summer.

Alper is survived by daughters Mara Alper and Glenna Ashton, and a grandson.

Memorial donations can be made to: Full Circle Theater, Temple University, 1601 N. Broad St., USB 206, Philadelphia, PA 19122. Make checks payable to Temple University.

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