Judith Raskin was born June 21, 1928, daughter of Harry Raskin and Lillian Mendelsohn Raskin. Both her parents were public school teachers and instilled in their only child a love of music, the subject Judith Raskin majored in when she came to Smith College in 1945. She graduated from Smith in 1949 and received an honorary degree in 1963. While at Smith, Raskin studied with Anna Hamlin, continuing her lessons with Hamlin even after graduation as she began pursuing her career in opera. In 1948, Raskin married a distant cousin, Raymond Raskin. They had two children, Jonathan, born 1951 and Lisa, born 1953. She made her professional debut on both the stage and on television during the 1950s at the same time that she was raising her family. Even after undergoing a radical mastectomy in 1962, Raskin continued her operatic career, specializing in Schubert, Mozart, lieder and Yiddish songs on both the stage and in numerous recordings with major labels. During the 1970s she turned to teaching while still performing. In 1982 Raskin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died December 21, 1984.
For more detailed biographical information, see the entry on Raskin in Current Biography (April 1964) and the entry by Paula Eisenstein Baker in Jewish Women in American: An Historical Encyclopedia (1997). There is also a small folder of materials on Raskin in the Smith College Archives, in 80.Cla 1949 and in 12.HD.
From the guide to the Judith Raskin Papers MS 126., 1911-2000, (Sophia Smith Collection)