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Judith Kaplan Eisenstein

(1909 - 1996)

Eisenstein earned fame at age twelve when she became the first American woman to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah. Daughter of German-born Lena (Rubin) and Lithuanian-born Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, she was a child prodigy who trained in music education in New York, where she spent most of her life.  In 1996, Eisenstein received her Ph.D. from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's School of Sacred Music. She wrote many Jewish songs (some solo and some with her husband, Ira Eisenstein), published the first Jewish songbook for children and taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary Teachers Institute, HUC-JIR and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She and her husband had two daughters and one son.

Sources: Jewish Women's Archive