When Judith Kaplan became the first American girl to have a bat mitzvah ceremony on March 18, 1922 at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (SAJ), she had no idea that her actions would change Jewish communal life forever. 

But something unexpected happened along the way. As increasing numbers of girls ascended the bimah, girls and women began to expect—and demand—access to ritual honors and synagogue leadership. Bat mitzvah firsts were a catalyst for expanding all women’s participation in Jewish life and paved the way for people of all genders to mark their coming-of-age in new and inclusive ways. 

Explore the resources in the link for use in a B* Mitzvah celebration, in a classroom or in a congregational setting. 

Rise Up: Bat Mitzvah at 100 is a shared project of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (SAJ) and Jewish Women's Archive.



  • After School and Beyond
  • Day Schools and Yeshivas
  • Congregational Learning
  • Family Engagement
  • Teen Engagement