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Susan Jo Kaplan, gold medal Maccabiah Olympic Games Judo player dies at 77. The six foot tall, mother of four athlete won the gold medal in woman’s Judo at the Maccabiah Games in 1977 at the age of 37 representing the United States. She was the highest ranked women’s judo player in the world that year. Kaplan continued in the sport for 50 years and received her fourth degree black belt in 2007.
As an advocate for woman’s sports she played a role in the start of sports clubs for girls in her home town of Westfield, New Jersey.
Kaplan graduated from Kean College, now Kean University with a degree in Health and Physical Education. Kaplan, an accomplished equestrian was the coach of the Jersey City State College team. Always a dear friend and confidant to many around the country and the world Kaplan more recently earned her masters degree in Theology from Drew University and counseled many through their grieving process. She worked tirelessly during the aftermath of the 911 World Trade Center tragedy counseling first responders. Kaplan was working towards her PhD when she passed away.
She is survived by her 4 children The Hon. William D. Feingold ,(Jacqueline), James Feingold (Nicole), Elizabeth Nirmul (Gowen), Katherine Feingold, MD (Toni) her ten grandchildren as well as her brother the Hon. Herbert Kaplan.