Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age

October 9, 2013 - January 26, 2014 | Past Exhibit

Francine Hodes at her Bat Mitzvah, February 26, 1965 Courtesy Francine Abolofia

On a Saturday morning in 1922 – just two years after the historic vote that guaranteed American women the right to vote – Judith Kaplan, daughter of Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan, became the first American girl to mark her bat mitzvah during a public worship service. Through photographs, stories, audio, and artifacts, the traveling exhibit Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age illustrates the determination of girls, their parents, and their rabbis to challenge and change communal values and practice and institute this now widely-performed Jewish ritual that has helped to reshape American Judaism.
In addition, OJM is expanding the exhibit to include a look into the history and tradition of the bat mitzvah in Oregon. Do you have your own stories to tell? Please contact Anne LeVant Prahl, Curator of Collections and be part of Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age!
Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age is a project of the National Museum of American Jewish History and Moving Traditions.