Judith Kaplan's Bat Mitzvah (1922)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jun 23 21:05:08 UTC 2002

At 6:30 PM -0400 6/19/02, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
>    I asked the women's division of the Reconstructionist College for any "Bat
>Mitzvah" citation, and got the following response.  If rrc.edu doesn't have
>citations, no one does.  Judith Kaplan Eisenstein's husband was a college
>--Barry Popik

In case anyone is unfamiliar with Reconstructionist Judaism, here's a
joke I just received:

Q:  How do Reconstructionists spell the name of the Deity?   Pr-cess.
A:  Pr-cess.

>Subj:   Judith Kaplan's bat mitzvah
>Date:   6/19/2002 1:47:56 PM Eastern Standard Time
>From:   <A HREF="mailto:dwaxman at rrc.edu">dwaxman at rrc.edu</A>
>To: <A HREF="mailto:Bapopik at aol.com">Bapopik at aol.com</A>
>Sent from the Internet (Details)
>I am currently writing a graduate seminar paper on the bat mitzvah
>ceremony at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (SAJ), the
>synagogue founded by Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan, Judith Kaplan's father.
>There was no secular press coverage of her bat mitzvah, which occurred
>on May 5, 1922, though I have not determined if it received coverage in
>the Jewish press (Anglo or Yiddish).
>The first reference to the "bas mitzvah" ceremony I have thus far
>encountered is in minutes of the SAJ Board of Trustees from early
>February 1922, shortly after the congregation was organized.  Dr. Kaplan
>informed the Board of his intention to introduce such a ceremony and let
>them know that he intended that his eldest daughter to be the first, and
>the Board assented with great enthusiasm.  I have not yet had an
>opportunity to review Kaplan's diary to determine if he wrote about the
>ceremony using this terminology earlier than that date, though if you
>check in with me again in a few weeks I hope to have made some headway
>on the diary.  I can also email you the precise date and language from
>the minute books if this is helpful.
>The synagogue standardized the usage to the Sephardic pronuciation "bat"
>mitzvah some time in the 30s.
>Deborah Waxman
>Rabbi Deborah Waxman
>Assistant to the President and Director of Special Projects
>Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
>1299 Church Road
>Wyncote, PA  19095
>(215) 576-0800 x113
>(215) 576-6143 (fax)

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