Rise Up/Bat Mitzvah at 100: A National Shabbat
March 19 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm EDT
In 1922, SAJ held the first bat mitzvah in America, a trail-blazing step toward gender equality in Judaism. Today, our “B*Mitzvah experience” affirms gender equity and diversity, bringing voices on the margins to the center of the conversation.
SAJ has partnered with the Jewish Women’s Archive to create Rise Up/Bat Mitzvah at 100 on March 18-19, 2022. On that Shabbat, with resources created by SAJ and JWA, thousands of Jews across North America will join to celebrate the centenary of Judith Kaplan’s historic first on March 18, 1922 and the bat mitzvah girls who paved the way for all women and Jews of all genders to participate in Jewish communal life. Partners include the Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative movements, Yeshivat Meharat and JOFA (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Association), Hadassah, National Council of Jewish Women, and more.
At SAJ, we will celebrate this Shabbat by lifting up women’s voices and stories of our own pioneers. A special tish precedes Shabbat services. Music at services will feature female composers and we will highlight women leyners in our community.
An All-Star Panel Follows Shabbat Services on The First Bat Mitzvah and the Revolution of Egalitarianism that Followed with Rabbis Carole Balin (author of the forthcoming book Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age), Sandy Sasso (author of Judy Led the Way and the first female Reconstructionist rabbi), and Joy Levitt (officiant at Judith Kaplan Eisenstein’s second bat mitzvah and pioneering rabbi).
***Watch out for the Bat Mitzvah Instagram Story Project***
SAJ is producing an Instagram campaign to better understand Judith Kaplan, the 12 year old girl, and to convey to a wider audience the circumstances surrounding the first bat mitzvah. It will be built around stories and images posted by a child actress playing Judith, set in NYC during the weeks before and after her bat mitzvah in March of 1922.