Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s lace collar to be part of permanent exhibit at Tel Aviv museum

The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg donated her signature neckwear to the Museum of the Jewish People.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A piece of American Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will always remain in Israel, as she personally donated one of her iconic lace collars and autobiography to The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv to be put on permanent display.

The personal items of the long-time liberal justice, who was proud of her Jewish heritage, will be featured in the new core exhibit set to open in December. They will join modern and ancient art pieces, dioramas, Judaica, and many other objects that represent Jewish identity and “the journey of the Jews as a people among peoples,” as noted by the museum’s website.

The jabot lace collar was Ginsburg’s innovative addition to the regular black judge’s robes, and became her signature piece of clothing. In 2009, she told the Washington Post why she began wearing it.


Lace jabot collar donated by the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv. (Courtesy the Museum of the Jewish People)

“The standard robe is made for a man because it has a place for the shirt to show and the tie,” she explained. “So Sandra Day O’Connor and I thought it would be appropriate if we included as part of our robe something typical of a woman.”

The justice was catapulted to unusual fame as an octogenarian when Shana Knizhnik and Irin Carmon wrote a 2015 biography about the legal crusader they admired called Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It became an instant best-seller.

Speaking of the lace circlets in an interview Wednesday with the New York Daily News, Carmon said, “She had a kind of finely tuned sense of her own iconography, you know, she would wear different collars depending on if she was in the dissent or the majority.”

It is not known which side she was on when she wore the one she gave to the museum.

RBG is already part of the museum’s “Heroes – Trailblazers of the Jewish People” exhibit, showcasing scientists, cultural figures, athletes, intellectuals, leaders and revolutionaries. She joined earlier this year such disparate figures as Donna Grazia, Jerry Seinfeld, Jonas Salk and Ofra Haza in representing role models that modern Jewry could look up to and emulate.

Ginsburg was 87 when she died last Sunday.