Henry (Hillel) Abramson received his PhD in History from the University of Toronto in 1995, specializing in the Jews of Ukraine. He has held post-doctoral and visiting fellowships at Harvard, Cornell, Oxford and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and currently serves as the Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Services at Touro College South. He is the author of A Prayer for the Government: Ukrainians and Jews in Revolutionary Times, 1917-1920 (Harvard, 1999), The Art of Hatred: Images of Intolerance in Florida Culture (Jewish Museum of Florida, 2001), and Reading the Talmud: Developing Independence in Gemara Learning (Feldheim 2006), as well as many scholarly articles. He was part of the team that created the award-winning documentary The Lost Wooden Synagogues of Eastern Europe (Hersh, 1999). He has received awards and fellowships for his research and teaching from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Studies and Humanities Research Council (Canada), and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and was awarded the Excellence in the Academy Award by the National Education Association. His most recent works are Moses Maimonides on Teshuvah: The Ways of Repentance, A New Translation and Commentary and The Sea of Talmud: A Brief and Personal Introduction (Smashwords, 2012).
Dr. Abramson has lectured on Jewish history to scholarly audiences at some great Universities (Harvard, Cornell, Columbia and Yeshiva University in the US, University of Toronto in Canada, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Oxford University in the UK, and Hokkaido University in Japan), as well as several important institutes and think-tanks (Merkaz Zalman Shazar in Jerusalem, Tkuma Institute in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC).
He is also a sought-after speaker for more popular audiences, mainly through synagogues and other Jewish cultural organizations, on a wide variety of topics. For more information, contact him directly at email@example.com.
Selected Scholarly Presentations:
“The Jewish and Russian Question in Imperial and Civil War Ukraine,” (Discussant), Association for the Study of Nationalities Conference, Columbia University, April 2013.
“Gam zeh ya’avor: Normalizing National Narratives between Ukrainians and Jews in the 21st Century,” Association for the Study of Nationalities Conference, Columbia University, April 2010.
“The Petliura Question,” Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter Initiative: Shared Historical Narratives, Ditchley Park, Oxford, UK, December 2009.
“Rabbis, Rebbes, and the Crisis of Jewish Narratives at the Turn of the 20th Century,” Touro College Graduate School of Jewish Studies/YIVO Institute of Jewish Research, New York City, March 2008.
“Khmel’nyts’kyi, Petliura, Bandera – Jewish Perceptions of Paradigmatic Ukrainian Leadership and National Liberation,” Facing Catastrophe: Jews and Non-Jews in the Ukraine During the Holocaust, Tkuma Institute, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, October 2003.
“The End of Intimate Insularity: New Narratives of Jewish History in the Post-Soviet Era,” conference on Construction and Deconstruction of National Identities in Post-Soviet Eurasia, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, July 2002.
“The Aftermath of the Holocaust in Ukraine,” conference on The Aftermath of the Shoah, Arizona State University, February 2002.
“Maase avos siman le-banim: Weekly bible readings as spiritual resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto,” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, November 2001.
“Ukrainians? In Anatevka? Shtetl Jews Discover the Ukrainians,” The Shtetl: New Evaluations of its History and Character,” Boston University, November 2001.
“A Derivative Hatred: Representations of Jewish Women in Modern Antisemitic Caricature,” Klutznick-Harris Symposium on Women and Judaism, Creighton University, October 2001.
“Four Hundred Repetitions and the Divine Voice: Talmudic Pedagogy and the University Setting,” National Education Association Annual Conference, San Diego, March 2001.
“Shouldering the Burdens of History: The Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter since Independence,” Problems of Development of Ukraine Since Independence: A View from Canada, University of Toronto, November 1999.
“Response” at “Ukrainians and Jews in Revolution and Civil War: A Critical Assessment of Henry Abramson’s A Prayer for the Government,” Papers presented by Professors Taras Hunczak (Rutgers), Eric Lohr (Harvard), Richard Pipes (Harvard), and Antony Polonsky (Brandeis) Center for European Studies, Harvard University, October 1999.
“The Talmud, the Internet, and the New Jewish Curriculum: Implications of the Information Age for the People of the Book,” JESNA Board Meeting Keynote Address, Boca Raton, February 2008.
“Singer in the Shtetl, the Shtetl in Singer,” University of Central Florida, October 2004.
“The Wartime Writings of the Piaseczno Rebbe,” St Edmund College, Oxford University, July 2003.
“An Intimate Insularity: The Triangular Framework of Ukrainian-Jewish History,” Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, July 2002.
“The ‘Ukrainian Famine’ vs. the ‘Jewish Holocaust:’ Reflections on Historical Reality and Ethnic Politics in Helen Darville/Demidenko’s The Hand that Signed the Paper,” Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, December 1996.
“Antisemitism as Cognitive Dissonance: Jews and Ukrainians in the Modern Period,” Program of Jewish Studies, Cornell University, January 1995.
“The Social and Economic Foundations of Modern Ukrainian Antisemitism,” Center for European Studies, Harvard University, October 1995.
“Understanding 1919: New Perspectives on Jews and the Ukrainian Revolution,” Harvard Seminar in Ukrainian Studies, Harvard University, March 1995.
“The Question of Antisemitism in Ukraine,” Roundtable with Professors Orest Subtelny and Andrew Wilson, Columbia University, New York, November 1994.
“Hayim bela’o: Ukrainim ve-Yehudim be-milhemet ha-ezrahit be-Rusyah, 1917-1920″ Merkaz Zalman Shazar Israel Historical Society, Jerusalem, January 1994.
“Sowing Flax and Trapping Deers: Narratives of Literary Origin in the Babylonian Talmud,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Washington DC (December 2008).
“Intersections of Technology and Tradition in Talmudic Study: Modalities of Religious Learning in Historical Perspective,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Toronto (December 2007).
“Entering the Mind of the Rebbe: New Research based on Manuscript Emendations in the Warsaw Ghetto Writings of the Piaseczno Rebbe,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, San Diego (December 2006)
“The Imperative of Prophecy: The Twentieth-Century Hasidic Thought of the Piaseczno Rebbe, 1889-1943,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Boston 1998.
“Revisiting a Forbidden History: Recent Historiography of the Jews in Post‑Soviet Ukraine,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Boston, December 1996.
“Antisemitism and Misogyny in Medieval Art and Caricature,” “Women’s Voices,” Florida Atlantic University, November 1996.
“Ukrainians, Jews, and the Problem of Antisemitism,” “Remaking National Identities: First Annual Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities,” Columbia University, April 1996.
“‘A Clean Cause Demands Clean Hands:’ Symon Petliura and the Pogroms of 1919,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Boston, December 1995.
“‘This is the Way it Was!’ Textual and Iconograpic Images of Jews in the Nazi‑sponsored Ukrainian Press of Distrikt Galizien,” Conference on Journalism and the Holocaust, 1933‑1945, Yeshiva University, New York City, October 1995.
“Notes on the Non‑Existence of Ukrainian Jewry,” Conference on “Peoples, Nations, Identities: the Russian‑Ukrainian Encounter,” Columbia University, New York, November 1994.
“Tefilin and the Two‑Headed Boy: The Socialist‑Zionist Conflict in Ukraine, 1917‑1919,” 63rd Annual Conference, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York City, November 1992.
Research grants and awards:
National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, “Becoming an American Writer: The Life and Work of Isaac Bashevis Singer,” October 2004. Grant for curating FAU contributions to a collaborative traveling exhibit with the Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities at the University of Texas.
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Fellowship, Oxford University, Summer 2003. Theme: “Representation of the ‘Other:’ Jews in Medieval Christendom.”
Eugene and Daymel Shklar Fellow in Ukrainian Studies, Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, Summer 2002.
Scholar/Humanist Fellowship, Florida Humanities Council, 2002.
Fellow, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, November 2001.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend, 2000.
Researcher of the Year Award, Florida Atlantic University, 2000.
Fellow, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, January 2000.
Third Place for Creative Excellence, US International Film and Video Festival, 2000.
Videographer Award of Distinction for Religious Documentary, Videographer’s Society, 2000.
Louis Wolfsohn II Historical Media Center Award, 2000.
Member, Shevchenko Scientific Society, 1999.
Slovin/YIVO Fellowship, Cornell University, 1995-1996.
Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC), Ottawa, 19901-994.
Morris M. Pulver Fellowship, Jerusalem, 19931994.
Ray D. Wolfe Fellowship for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies, Jewish Studies Programme, University of Toronto, 19921993.
Neporany Exchange Fellowship for Research in Ukraine, Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies, 1992.
Max Weinreich Fellowship for Advanced Jewish Research, Max Weinreich Centre for Advanced Jewish Research, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York, 1992.
Research grant, Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, 1992.
Research grants, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto, 1991, 1992.
Research grants, Department of History, University of Toronto, 1991, 1992.
Research grant, Petro Jacyk Educational Foundation, Toronto, 1992.
Research Grant, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 1991.
Fellowship, Soviet Academy of Sciences/International Association of Ukrainianists, Kiev, 1990.
Stephen Cooper Award for Jewish Leadership, Beth Tzedec Congregation, Toronto, 1990.
Reuben Leonard Wells Scholarship for Academic Excellence, University of Toronto, 1989.
Herschel William Gryfe Scholarship for Jewish History, University of Toronto, 1989.
Rabbi Isserman Prize for Studies in International and Interracial Relations, University of Toronto, 1988.
Norma Epstein Award for Creative Writing, University College, 1986.
Emil L. Fackenheim Scholarship for Jewish Thought, Hillel Foundation, Toronto, 1984.
Distinguished Honors Professor of the Year, University Scholars Program, Florida Atlantic University, 2002.
Kathleen Raymond Award for Excellence in Teaching, IMPAC Award (Individuals Making Personal and Academic Contributions), Florida Atlantic University, 2001.
Distinguished Professor of the Year, Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society, Xi Omega Chapter, Florida Atlantic University, 2001.
Excellence in the Academy Award (category: The Art of Teaching), National Education Association, 2000.
1999/2000 Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Florida Atlantic University, 2000.
Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers listing, 2000.
Award for Outstanding Teaching, Life Long Learning Society, Florida Atlantic University,1999.