Sunday, March 18, 2012

On March 18

On this day in ...
... 1922 (90 years ago today), in New York City, was celebrated the 1st bat mitzvah in the United States. The girl who undertook this Jewish coming-of-age rite – till then, the bar mitzvah, reserved for boys – was Judith Kaplan, the 12-year-old daughter of a rabbi. The ceremony was simple, consisting of her recitation of a few blessings in the sanctuary of her father's synagogue. "'That was enough to shock a lot of people, including my own grandparents and aunts and uncles,'" she recalled later. An exhibition has just opened in New York, commemorating the event and tracing the tradition of bat mitzvah these last 90 years. (credit for undated photo from poster for exhibition, entitled "Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age")

(Prior March 18 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

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