About Henry Abramson

abramson-headshot-new

Profile

Dean of Touro’s Lander College at Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY. Academic specialization in Jewish history and thought. Extensive experience with faculty development and student services.  Strong interest in new teaching technologies and online education in general.

A native of northern Ontario, Canada, Henry Abramson received his PhD in History from the University of Toronto in 1995 and held postdoctoral and visiting appointments at Harvard, Cornell, Oxford and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is author of six books, including A Prayer for the Government: Ukrainians and Jews in Revolutionary Times, 1917-1920 (Harvard, 1999) and Reading the Talmud: Developing Independence in Gemara Learning (Feldheim, 2006/Createspace, 2012), and many scholarly articles. His research has been recognized with prestigious fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.  A sought-after lecturer, he has addressed audiences in Japan, Israel, Europe, and across the United States and Canada.  He has appeared in two documentary videos and is the recipient of the Excellence in the Academy Award from the National Education Association. His weekly lectures in Jewish history are viewed by thousands world wide.

Dr. Abramson regularly travels to deliver public lectures and seminars. Contact him directly at abramson@touro.edu for details.

Experience

Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Services, Touro College South, Miami Beach FL 2006-present

* Currently serving as founding Chief Academic Officer of branch campus, supervising faculty and staff in six majors and several pre-professional disciplines
* Designed, implemented and currently supervise all aspects of Student Services on campus 
* Instituted innovative First Year Information Seminar for new students
* Nurtured full-time and adjunct faculty in research and teaching, with a special emphasis on utilizing new teaching technologies and publishing

University Library Scholar of Judaica, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton FL 2002-2006

* Curated large Yiddish-language holdings and other Judaica in the Special Collections Department 
* Initiated annual Kultur Festival, celebrating Eastern European Jewish culture, a major University-wide multidisciplinary exhibition that is now in its second decade under the leadership of Maestro Aaron Kula

Associate Professor of History and Judaic Studies, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton FL 2002-2006

* Taught courses and conducted research in Jewish history and thought
* Served in numerous committees at the Department, College, and University level

Fellow, Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Oxford University, Oxford UK, Summer 2003.

* Participated as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, “Representation of the ‘Other:’ Jews in Medieval Christendom”

Eugene and Daymel Shklar Fellow in Ukrainian Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 2002. Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute

* Conducted research in the Houghton Rare Books Library on Ukrainian-Jewish history

Assistant Professor of History; Holocaust and Judaic Studies, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton FL 1996-2002

* Taught courses and conducted research in Jewish history and thought
* Served in numerous committees at the Department, College, and University level 

Guest Curator, Jewish Museum of Florida, Miami Beach FL, 2000-2001.

* Curated exhibit: “The Art of Hatred: Images of Intolerance in Florida Culture”
* Published exhibit catalog and wrote docent guide

Slovin/YIVO Visiting Assistant Professor of Eastern European Jewish Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 1995-1996. Department of Near Eastern Studies.

* Taught courses on the Holocaust and Eastern European Jewish history
* Conducted research on PhD dissertation in Olin Library

Visiting Scholar, Center for Research and Documentation of East European Jewry, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel 1993-1994

* Conduced research on PhD dissertation in National University Library of Hebrew University
* Participated in regular Center for Advanced Study seminars
* Presented dissertation research at Israeli Historical Society (Merkaz Zalman Shazar)

Ray D. Wolfe Fellow for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada 1992-1993.  Department of History

* Conducted research on PhD dissertation at Robarts Library
* Taught course on Modern Jewish History

Teaching Assistant, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada 1989-1992.  Department of History

* Led weekly undergraduate seminars in several Jewish history courses under supervision of Professors Jacques Kornberg, Michael Marrus, and Joseph Shatzmiller

Education

Doctor of Philosophy (History), University of Toronto, 1995.

Research Supervisor: Professor Paul R. Magocsi.  Internal Reader: Professor Michael Marrus.  External Reader: Professor Zvi Gitelman.  Thesis: “Jews and Ukrainians in Revolutionary Times: Autonomy, Statehood, and Civil War, 1917-1920.”  Major field: Russian Empire and Soviet Union, 1698-1991; minor fields in East Central Europe and Kievan Rus’.

Diploma in Interdisciplinary Ukrainian Studies, Kiev State University, Ukrainian SSR, 1990.

Master of Arts (History), University of Toronto, 1990.

Honours Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy), University of Toronto, 1989.

Research

Books

Молитва за владу. Українці та євреї в революційну добу (1917–1920)  (ДУХ І ЛІТЕРА, 2017) [Translation of A Prayer for the Government, see below].

The Kabbalah of Forgiveness: The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy in Rabbi Moshe Cordovero’s Date Palm of Devorah (Tomer Devorah) (2015).

Reading the Talmud: Developing Independence in Gemara Study Feldheim, 2006/Createspace, 2012.

The Sea of Talmud: A Brief and Personal Introduction Createspace, 2012.

Moses Maimonides on Teshuvah: A New Translation and Commentary Createspace, 2012.

The Art of Hatred: Images of Intolerance in Florida Culture Miami Beach: Jewish Museum of Florida, 2001.

A Prayer for the Government: Jews and Ukrainian in Revolutionary Times, 1917-1920 Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (Harvard Series in Ukrainian Studies, Ukrainian Research Institute/Harvard Judaic Texts and Studies, Center for Judaic Studies), 1999.

Documentaries

The Lost Wooden Synagogues of Eastern Europe, 1999, directed by Carl Hersh, produced by Albert Barry and Florida Atlantic University Libraries, 50 min. Academic Advisor. Released in English, Hebrew and Yiddish versions.

One of the Last, 2007, directed and produced by Ed Kucerak, Kublacom Pictures, 50 min.  DVD.  Appearance only.

CD-ROM Publication:

“Powerpoint Supplement” for Jerry Bentley and William Ziegler, Traditions and Encounters, 3rd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005.

Book Chapters:

“Two Jews, Three Opinions: Politics in the Shtetl at the Turn of the 20th Century,” The Shtetl: New Evaluations, Ed. Steven Katz, New York: New York University Press, 2007, 85-101.

“Deciphering the Ancestral Paradigm: A Hasidic Court in the Warsaw Ghetto,” Ghettos 1939-1945: New Research and Perspectives on Definition, Daily Life, and Survival, Ed. Paul A Shapiro, Washington DC: Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Museum, 2005, 129-146. Audio recording of formal presentation available at link above.

“A Double Occlusion: Sephardim and the Holocaust,” Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry: From the Golden Age of Spain to Modern Times, ed. Zion Zohar, New York: New York University Press, 2005, 285-299.

“‘This is the Way it Was!’ Textual and Iconograpic Images of Jews in the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Press of Distrikt Galizien,” Why Didn’t the Press Shout? Journalism and the Holocaust, Ed. Robert Moses Shapiro,  New York: Yeshiva University Press, 2003, 537-556.

“Metaphysical Nationality in the Warsaw Ghetto: Poles and Other Non-Jews in the Wartime Writings of Rabbi Kalonimus Kalmish Shapiro,” Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and Its Aftermath, Ed. Joshua Zimmerman, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003, 158-169.

“Depicting the Ambiguous Wound: Circumcision in Medieval Art” (with Carrie Hannon), The Covenant of Circumcision: New Perspectives on an Ancient Rite, Ed. Elizabeth Wyner Mark,  Hanover and London: Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England, 2003, 98-113.

“Nachrichten aus Lemberg: Lokale Elemente in der antisemitischen Ikonographie der NS-Propaganda in ukrainischer Sprache,” in Grenzenlose Vorurteile: Antisemitismus, Nationalismus und ethnische Konflikte in verschiedenen Kulturen, Series; Jahrbuch des Fritz Bauer Institut, Band 6, Eds. Irmtrud Wojak and Susanne Meinl, Frankfurt am Main: Fritz Bauer Institut, 2002, 249-267.

“Foreword to the Turei Zahav of Rabbi David ben Shmuel HaLevi (Volodymyr 1586  L’viv 1667)” in Ukraine: Developing a Democratic Polity, Essays in Honour of Peter J. Potichnyj, Ed. Stefania Szlek Miller, Edmonton: CIUS, 1996, 97-108. [Also published as journal article, listed below]

“Shouldering the Burdens of History: Aspects of the Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter since Independence,” Society in Transition: Social Change in Ukraine in Western Perspectives, Ed. Wsevolod Isajiw, Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, 2003, 203-212.

“The End of Intimate Insularity: New Narratives of Jewish History in the Post-Soviet Era,” Construction and Deconstruction of National Identities in Post-Soviet Eurasia, Ed. Tadayuki Hayashi, Sapporo: Hokkaido University, 2003, 87-115.

Articles

“Circumcision: Visual Arts,” Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2011)

Ukraine,” The YIVO Encyclopedia of the Jews of Eastern Europe ed. Gershon David Hundert, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2:1930-1937.

Well – Yes, a New Synthesis!  A Response to Mr. Fisher,Revolutionary Russia 16:2 (London, 2003), 94-100.

“Studying the Talmud: 400 Repetitions and the Divine Voice,” Thought and Action 27:1 (Spring 2001), 9-18.  Winner of the Excellence in the Academy Award for 2001 in the category of The Art of Teaching.

“Just Different: The Last Jewish Family of Ansonville, Ontario,” Canadian Jewish Studies: Etudes Juives Canadiennes 9 (2001), 155-169.

“The Esh Kodesh of Rabbi Kalonimus Kalmish Shapiro: An Unique Treatise on Communal Trauma among Hasidim in the Holocaust,” Transcultural Psychiatry 37:3 (Montreal, 2000), 321-335.

“The Prince in Captivity: Reading Hasidic Discourses from the Warsaw Ghetto as Sources for Social and Intellectual History,” Journal of Genocide Research 1:2 (London,1999), 213-225.

“Life Imitates Art Imitates Life: The Famine, the Holocaust, and Australia’s Darville/Demidenko Affair,”The Ukrainian Quarterly 50:4 (New York, 1997), 353-365.

“A Ready Hatred: Depictions of the Jewish Woman in Medieval Antisemitic Art and Caricature,” Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 62  (Jerusalem and New York, 1996), 1-18.

“Foreword to the Turei Zahav of Rabbi David ben Shmuel HaLevi (Volodymyr 1586  L’viv 1667),” Journal of Ukrainian Studies 21:1/2 (Toronto, 1996), 97-108. [Also published as book chapter, listed above]

“The Scattering of Amalek: A Model for Understanding the UkrainianJewish Conflict,”  East European Jewish Affairs 24:1 (London, 1994), 39-47.

“Collective Memory and Collective Identity: Jews and the Rusyns During the Holocaust,” Carpatho-Rusyn American 17:3 (New York, 1994).

“Electronic Mail for the Technologically Timid,” American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies Newsletter 33:2 (Stanford, 1993), 21.

“Jewish Representation in the Independent Ukrainian Governments of 1917-1920,” Slavic Review 50:3 (Stanford, 1991), 542-550.

“Metropolitan Sheptyts’kyi’s Hebrew Correspondence, 1903,” Harvard Ukrainian Studies 15:1/2 (Cambridge, 1991), 172-176.

“Historiography on the Jews and the Ukrainian Revolution,” Journal of Ukrainian Studies 15:2 (Edmonton, 1990), 33-46.

Encyclopedia of Ukraine, 5 vols. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988-1993:

“Nakhman of Bratslav,” 3:527

“Schechtman, Joseph,” 4:551

“Tcherikower, Elias,” 5:180

“Yiddish,” 5:773774

“Zionism,” 5:867868.

“The Jew in History,” Nishma 8 (New York, Toronto), August 1991.

“Standing Up for Ukrainian Jews,” The Globe and Mail, (Toronto) May 4, 1990, A7.  Also reprinted in Novyi shlakh, (Toronto Newspaper), June 9, 1990, 4.

Conference Papers: Invited

“Lighting the Lantern,” American Ideas Workshop, Tikvah Foundation, Glen Cove, NY, May 2015.

Discussant, “The Jewish and Russian Question in Imperial and Civil War Ukraine,” Association for the Studies 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” to “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.

Scholarly Lectures: Invited (Selection)

“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.

Conference Papers: General

“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 PostSoviet 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 Nazisponsored Ukrainian Press of Distrikt Galizien,” Conference on Journalism and the Holocaust, 1933-1945, Yeshiva University, New York City, October 1995.

“Notes on the Nonexistence 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.

Reviews Appearing or Forthcoming in the Following Journals

American Historical Review

Association for Jewish Studies Review 

Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism 

Canadian Slavonic Papers 

Canadian-American Slavic Studies

East European Jewish Affairs

European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms 

Harvard Ukrainian Studies 

HJudaic

Holodomor Studies

Journal of Ukrainian Studies  

Russian Review 

Slavic Review 

Slavonica

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.

Slovin/YIVO Fellowship, Cornell University, 1995-1996.

Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC), Ottawa, 1990-1994.

Morris M. Pulver Fellowship, Jerusalem, 1993-1994.

Ray D. Wolfe Fellowship for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies, Jewish Studies Programme, University of Toronto, 1992-1993.

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.

Teaching Awards

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.

Award for Outstanding Teaching, Lifelong Learning Society, Florida Atlantic University,1999.

Service

Manuscript evaluator for the following publishers/journals:

Acta Slavica Iaponica

Addison-Weseley Publishers

Harvard Ukrainian Studies

Houghton-Mifflin Publishers

Longman Publishers

McGraw-Hill Publishers

Palgrave Publishers

Pittsburgh University Press

Slavic Review

Syracuse University Press

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

West/Wadsworth Publishers

Editorial Board Service

Editorial Board, Harvard Ukrainian Studies, 2004-

Editorial Board, Holodomor Studies, 2010-

Editorial Board, Tkuma, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, 2004-

Editorial Board, Thought and Action: The NEA Journal in Higher Education,  2001-2004.

Editorial Board, HJudaic, electronic mail journal, 1993-1999.  Book Review Editor, 1995-1999.

Editorial Board, Jewish Scholarship in Eastern Europe, electronic mail journal, 1997-

Other

Coordinator, Chair of Ukrainian Studies Seminar, University of Toronto, 1991-1993

Languages (primarily reading knowledge)

Aramaic, French, German, Hebrew, Russian, Ukrainian, Yiddish. Some Spanish, Creole.

Biographic note

Dr. Abramson was born and raised in Iroquois Falls (population 4,500), a milling town in northern Ontario, Canada.  After completing a degree in Philosophy at the University of Toronto, he became a professional downhill ski instructor.  Fortunately, he met his wife Ulana, also a ski instructor, and with her encouragement he returned to graduate school to study History under Professor Paul Robert Magocsi.  He currently lives in Surfside, Florida with his wife and several children. The skiing is terrible, but somehow they manage.

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72 thoughts on “About Henry Abramson

  1. Hello Mr Abramson, My name is Andrew – I am looking for a picture of Rabbi Akiva, I’m hoping you may be able to point me in the right direction? I’m not able to find anything of quality, i need something relatively high resolution, maybe a good picture of a painting or a scan from somewhere – would you have any idea where i can find something? any help would be greatly appreciated, my email address is andrew@gelmedia.net
    kind regards,
    Andrew

    1. Hello Andrew–
      Not too sure where you could find that–the ancient and most. Of the medieval Jewish traditions generally frowned on representations of people, and I’m not aware of any modern artists working on that topic. Maybe try the Jewish Museum in New York City?
      HMA

    2. Hello Dr. Abramson,
      I’m so glad I found you. The Florida Grand Opera will have ‘Salome’ in the 2017-2018 season.
      Looking for her Jewish background I found your lecture about her and I wanted to thank you .
      I enjoyed it so much, and I will return to your site to learn more.
      You are a total pleasure!
      Ilana

  2. Hello Mr Abramson–

    I am interested in whether you have any information about how the differing pronunciation of Hebrew & Yiddish developed between the Lithuanian Jews of the northern part of Eastern Europe and the Jews, particularly Hasidic Jews, of central & southern? Is it simply a north/south divide that has nothing to do with Misnagdim vs. Hasidim (since Hasidic groups from northern areas still seem to use the Lithuanian pronunciation)? In short, I am curious about the development of these two differing pronunciation forms? For example, Rabbeinu vs Rabbaini; Omeyn vs Umayn. Maybe you have indeed held a lecture that covered this topic? Thank you very much.

    Best,

    Jonah

  3. I ENJOYED YOUR LECTURE ON HILLEL HAZAKEN-I AM A TEACHER IN A YESHIVAH IN BROOKLYN AND I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR POWERPOINT PRESENTATION WITH MY 9 TH GRADE STUDENTS.WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO SHARE IT WITH ME?

  4. Thank you so much for putting your lectures on here. I found them when I was looking for videos to watch as review for my Judaism final. Very well done; I enjoyed them very much.

  5. Hi, I came across your classes on Tomer Devorah on Youtube. I only saw the first 2 middahs. I didn’t see any other remaining lectures. I found them very helpful and would love to be able to see all of them. Are they on Youtube and I’m just missing it? Thanks

  6. I have enjoyed several of your lectures on YouTube. I have a question regarding a comment you made about Josephus. You implied that Josephus may have fabricated the story about how he predicted that Vespasian would become emperor, copying the story of Yochanan Ben Zakai. Correct me if I am wrong, but the story about yochanan Ben Zakai and Vespasian was first written down in the talmud when it was redacted in about 500 CE, while the Josephus version is much older, written by Josephus himself. Is it not possible that the rabbis copied the Josephus story and attributed it to Yochanan Ben Zakai?

  7. Hello Mr Abramson,
    I was wondering if your lectures are available in MP3 format available for download. I would very much like to listen to them during my daily commute.

    Thank you,
    Shalom V’Bracha
    Gavriel Sani MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS: SANI613@GMAIL.COM

  8. Hi Dr. Abramson
    I went to Mexico and I didn’t have the chance to thank you for your lectures. As you must feel from all of us you are an outstanding lecturer, teacher, etc.
    Please let me know when you will start a new series
    I have a new mail
    dewaisser123@gmail.com
    Thank you again
    Eva Zack de Waisser

  9. Dear Henry,
    I’m enjoying your lectures on Jewish history and have now completed lecture 1.10. The series now jumps to lecture 16. What’s happened to lectures 1.11 to 1.15? I don’t want to miss anything!
    Greetings from Edinburgh, Scotland.
    Simpson Coupar.

  10. Hello Dr. Abramson.
    I enjoy your lectures and articles immensely. They were extremely helpful in my essay on the 1917-1921 Russian Ukrainian pogroms. I was looking for your one lecture on the arenda system, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Do you happen to know what the title of the lecture was. I believed you gave it in Miami.
    I know its a lot to ask, but if you have any information that would be very helpful.

    1. Hello Mr. Harter–
      Thanks very much for your kind words. I discuss the arenda in a lecture on Nathan of Hanover (https://jewishhistorylectures.org/2013/02/19/nathan-of-hanover-and-the-ukrainian-revolution-of-1648-1649/) and to some degree in a lecture on the kehilla system (https://jewishhistorylectures.org/2013/11/14/his-155-1-6-jewish-communal-structure-the-kehillah/). You might want to consult Isaac Levitats’ excellent study on the Jewish community in the Russian Empire. HMA

  11. Hola! I’ve been following your site for a while now and finally got the courage to go
    ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!

  12. Shalom Dr. Abramson! I have a good joke for one of your lectures! Maybe you don’t know this one. I love ALL of them & have watched many of them. Keep up the good work!

    [joke edited out by Dr. Abramson so he can save it for a lecture]

    -Yitzakh “Moshae Beats” Heschler

    1. Hello and thanks for the kind words, Mr. Heschler! I hope you don’t mind that I edited out your joke–I think I might personalize it a bit and then use it in a lecture.

      Glad you’re enjoying the lectures!

      HMA

    2. No i don’t mind you editing it out. May it’s not appropriate for your lectures now that I think about it. May funny in certain circles but not publicly. Keep up the good work and I can’t wait for more new lectures.

  13. Rabbi Abramson:

    I’m halfway through your fascinating lecture on YouTube on Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
    You talk about his great success in introducing Judaism to people who wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to it, as well as pulling lukewarm adherents back to the fold.

    You’re doing a fine job of outreach yourself, Sir! Your lectures are a delight.

    Thank you so much

    Paul R
    Boston, MA

  14. Dr. Abramson, My name is Ken Smith and I’m not much of a Facebook or Twitter person. I’m a little old school this way. However, that being said, I would love to talk to you on the phone. I’ve started to watch some of you videos on Facebook and being a person trained in sociology and religion, I would like to discuss some “hard” questions if you don’t mind, and the Internet is really not conducive or practical for a two way conversation. My number is 732-598-1486

  15. Greetings & Shalom our esteemed Dr. Abramson! Your lectures from FL are undescribably pleasant, informative, & spiced with safely funny JOKES (they indeed ease pain of bad news in our media, THANKS)!

    I am a 7th day Sabbath-keeping Christian of C.C.O.G. Continuing Church Of God, we keep original Holy Days & follow clean meats/fish diet from Torah.

    I watch your wonderful traditional Jewish lectures via Chromecast HDMI key/Youtubes right onto our bigscreen TV, I love the way you teach topics like Betty Friedan, Rabbi Schneerson, the horrible Shoah/Holocaust, great heroes like Golda Meir & Menachem Begin, etc., purely wonderful lessons. Your teaching style makes learning fun & cements the info into memory. I wish primetime TV would present you instead of clutzy Hollywood mental quicksand.

    I spent many Sabbaths @ B’nai Maccabim UCMJ Synagogue Lake Bluff IL, we dearly miss our departed Rabbi Betzalel Budoff. He showed me & my wife & her daughter Goldy what the Torah scrolls are & we always love it.

    My friends in C.C.O.G. regularly pray for Israel & all people. You supply mountains of fun & serious wisdom Dr. Abramson. I’m glad your daughter asks astute, learned questions in your audience, your face lights up with love when you answer her questions & from others too.

    Please continue to feature your clean jokes! When your bio said you & your wife Ulana were ski instructors, I tried to invent a joke about a guy named Solomon learning to ski “slalom”, & munching too long on M&M chocolate- to the point where his buddy at the top of ski hill impatiently says, “swallow ’em, & slalom, Solomon!” (sorry dry humor tongue-twister).

    May you & Ulana & family & Touro College be blessed by HaShem, shalom Fred Woods with love.

    1. Dear Mr Woods–

      Thank you for your especially kind words. I read them aloud to my family! I am very glad you enjoy the lectures; may you and your loved ones continue to do so in good health and abundant blessings.

      HMA

      1. Yes Sir, for sure! Now I feel like we are brothers or cousins (well, everyone are cousins, i.e. Adam, Eve, etc.). You & my brother Scott & my wife are all only 1 year younger than me, & I am glad someone our age, (you), can amass so much wisdom from your youth in Ontario, study in England, impressive.

        How much does it co$t to sponsor a lecture? I am only a school bus driver, but sometimes I have decent wage on long field trips to Skokie IL, & Chicago, & Milwaukee. (I once lived 7 years in Milwaukee, & to me it felt like Golda Meir’s “town” since she grew up there.)

        Would you ever do a lecture on Moshe Dayan? To me, he is as heroic as Gen. Eisenhower, Gen. Patton, A. Lincoln, G. Washington, & maybe King David too, I love how Gen. Dayan enjoyed eating with the Arab fellas sometimes, & of his kibbutz life.

        There, that’s it for now, sorry I write long like Iyov (Job) sometimes, I have begged God to protect kids like JonBenet Ramsey, Phoebe Jonchuck, Anne Frank, etc., it hurts but you help a lot. Thanks again to our God, for His bringing you to us! Shalom.

  16. …sorry, typo of UMJC Synagogue. But not as I wrote, UCMJ, clutzy me, that seems to be anagram of Armed Forces Law code, wheww, very sorry.

  17. Dear Professor, your lectures on youtube (JHL) are really kvell, emes, no shvitz! So I believe you were asking for some suggestions for further lectures, here’s some ideas that might be interesting: Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk, Aryeh Kaplan, Karl Marx, Abraham Abulafia, Satmar hasidim: Moshe Teitelbaum, LL Zamenhof & Esperanto, Rabbi Nehunya ben HaKanah, Moses de León, and a lot more, alright, schoyn genug! Mazel tov, yasher koach! 🙂

  18. Shoilem aleichem Professor Abramson, zeyer fayne lektsherim shelachim! 🙂 May I add two more requests for further lectures: could please speak something about who are them Noachides, and maybe something about Rabbi Abraham ben David of Posquières, called RABaD III? A zeyer sheynem dank for all your arbeit with this project! Dovid Sanders

  19. Shalom Professor, could you please do lectures on Jean-Marie Lustiger, cardinal of Paris, Paul Erdos, mathematician and the great hasidic Rebbe Yitzchak Isaac Taub (1744-1828) of Nagykálló? Thanks a lot for all your work. Really appreciate it. Mazel tov! 🙂

  20. b”h: here’s some further suggestions for future lectures, please:

    Abraham_Abulafia
    Aryeh_Kaplan
    Arthur_Koestler, from the Thirteenth Tribe
    Paul_Erdős, the wandering mathematician
    Carl_Sagan, cosmologist
    Richard_Feynman, physicist
    Karl_Marx
    Noahidism
    Solomon_Luria or the Maharshal
    Nehunya_ben_HaKanah
    Dov_Ber_of_Mezeritch
    Moses_de_León
    Meir_Shapiro and the Daf Yomi
    Elimelech_of_Lizhensk
    Yehudah_Aryeh_Leib_Alter or the Sfas Emes & the town of
    Góra_Kalwaria also known as Nowa Jerozolima (“New Jerusalem”)
    Wolf_Messing
    Kaliv_(Hasidic_dynasty) & Yitzchak Isaac Taub (1744-1828) of Nagykálló
    Moshe_Teitelbaum_(Ujhel)
    Satmar_(Hasidic_dynasty)
    Abraham_ben_David or RABaD III
    Jean-Marie_Lustiger, the Jewish cardinal of Paris
    L._L._Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto

    Keep up the good work.

    Thank you.

  21. Really amazing classes there with a good sense of humour, Dr. Abrahamson! If your time allows, please would you be willing to do a class on ANNA FRANK as well? Dank u well! Have a nice day! 🙂 When’s the next season by the way? Yours sincerely, Joseph Singel, Amsterdam NL

    1. Hello Mr. Singel! Nice to hear from you all the way in Amsterdam. I hope to put out a few more videos in the Essential Lectures series over the summer, maybe record a class I’m giving via videoconference in England, and start up the Biography as History series in September. Anna Frank would be an excellent subject, thank you for the suggestion! HMA

  22. Hi Dr. Abramson
    I was in Mexico City ,as always I comment to my family how much I learn and enjoy your lectures. I would like to know if there is tomorrow a lecture.
    Eva Zack de Waisser

  23. Dear Dr Abramson
    i loved your lecture on Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai which i listenend to yesterday. Learnt many new things, though i thought i knew everything on the subject. Also many things put in a new perspective. and best- i was really inspired by the beautiful, well crafted lecture. thank you.
    However, i could not believe that you claimed in your lecture on jewish humor that there is no humour in the Talmud!!! there is plenty humor in tanach too, but the Talmud has more humour than any other source i know. And you yourself made that so clear in your lecure about Rashbi! you mean when G-d says to Rabbi Shimon “have you come to destroy the world i have created?” that is not funny? when Rabbi Akiva says “if you are looking for a tree to hang yourself on, go fnd a higher one” that’s not humor? come on! midrash is just the most humorous thing- a lot more subtle than groucho marx (like when the rabbis say “what is tov?- gan eden, what is tov me’od?- gehinom etc…” . so lechaim. may the zechus of Rabbi shimon protect us. good luck on your new position and i hope to be hearing more of your fantastic lectures.. give us something on the rothchilds and their relationship to judaism perhaps.

  24. Hello Professor, I have just read in one of the previous threads you mentioned that you would be coming to England for a video conference, when is that going to happen and where exactly, if I may? Also if possible would you be willing to do a class on the life of Geza Vermes and the Nag Hamadi Library / the Dead Sea Scrolls? Also something about Shlomo Ganzfried? Thank you for all your inspiring classes & lectures!

    Daniel Solomons, London, UK

  25. Shalom.
    I found your youtube channel via TorahCafe and since then, have enjoyed listening to many of your talks. Your talks on Jewish women are my favourite. First I wanted to ask if there is anyway I can make a contribution? Second, do you still give new talks? If so, I have a couple of ideas: biography on Sir John Monash and the history of Jews who lived in Arab countries (I think you can do a mini series on that).
    Cheers.

    1. Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you find the lectures useful. I hope to continue giving public lectures after my move to New York, location TBA, probably starting up after the High Holidays (say October). I’m glad you appreciated the lectures on women in particular, since I’ve tried to bring their historical voices to the fore whenever possible. One goal for next year is to expand discussion of non-European Jewries, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, and more exotic locations. As far as contributions, your viewing of the lectures is more than enough, but if you want to do more, check out this page: https://jewishhistorylectures.org/manifesto/. Thank you!

  26. Dear Dr. Abramson, we look forward to your planned new lectures this fall, we hope the NY hall decor will be as beautiful as the FL Bal Harbor room where the Flag of Israel stood, shalom our friend Hillel!

  27. Dear Dr. Abramson we like very much your lectures. We want to use your lectures in digital exhibition. Especially we are interested in this lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hchB7YmhIRI. Please, let me know about copyright and charges related with it. We will be sa glad if you will agree and want cooperate with us. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance for your answer.

    If you have any question please, contact me – e-mail: karolina.lugowy@vp.pl

  28. Dear Prof. Abramson, I do appreciate your lectures generally speaking and, above all, I followed very interested that one concerning Khazaria and the end of Khazars. In the past I was very surprised when I knew about an old Jewish Princedom in Medieval France ( this was pretty much the title of the “only” book on the subject written by Prof. Evergates) because it sounded quite “weird” to my non professional ear (I’m a doctor working in E.R.). For what I can understand they blossomed pretty much in the same time. From what I remember the “NASI” ( =Jewish prince) in Septimania was very well connected with Baghdad in the 7th or 8th century. I’d like your comment on these facts and more specifically about the circumstances of the end of the Jewish Princedom in Southern France. Thank you so much. Best regards, Antonio Sollazzo

  29. Dear Dr. Abramson, first of I’d like to thank you for your lectures, they’ve inspired me a great deal to learn and find out more about Hasidic history. I was wondering if you can recommend some books about the origins of Hasidic Judaism, as wel as history over the centuries. I can’t seem to find any that are written from a historical/anthropological perspective.
    Kind regards,
    Joost van de Wouw
    Tilburg, The Netherlands

  30. I “chanced” upon your history videos one day while googling something, and I now watch your history lectures regularly.
    I love them, and thank you for them!

  31. Dear Dr Abramson
    This is Chriistopher from London, England. I have subscribed and your email address was given, but I can’t seem to find it! Could you remind me of that please?
    Anyway, this is what I wanted to say. Thank you for the videos. I fnd them enjoyable and informative, (please continue with the jokes.) I have two questions and would appreciate your advice please.
    1 Would you agree that the essence of religion is a belief in a life subsequent to that which is currently living, whether a subesequent life may be again on planet earth or elsewhere?
    2 What do Jews believe regarding being subsequent to their current life? Is there a concept of heaven and hell? I heard that Jews consider their soul to be “on loan” and goes to another place on the death of that person.
    Thank you.
    Chris

  32. Lechvod Reb Henry, Shlita,

    Your lectures are amazing, and Hakadosh Baruch Hu should bless you with many years and strength to continue being marbitz torah “ad me’ah v’esrim”.

    As we await your lecture on The Great Ramchal, one aspect of this giant I hope you will explain… What was the Ramchal’s ACTUAL influences from Sabbateans and Sabbatean thought, if any. Additionally, please address Ramchal’s own letters describing Sabbateans and what he wrote be learned from them.

    We are looking forward, as always,
    Shloime Pollak

  33. Congratulations and many thanks, Dean Abramson, for your excellent series of Jewish biographies on YouTube. You’re right: it’s an excellent way to frame Jewish history, especially for this goyem biographile. Perfect indeed! May I add my special appreciation for your engaging and friendly teaching style, which translates well through electronic media. Best wishes to you, your family, and your Touro team in all your endeavors.

  34. Happy Purim Rabbi Abramson,
    I love listening to your lectures especially on the gedolim. My favorite
    “Who was the Ramchal” . This Tzadik’s life is very inspiring. The fact that he wrote so many books, and in the face of much resistance from his community’s religious leaders is also an awesome accomplishment.
    I’m not sure if I heard you mention that you are in the middle of a book on this Tzadik. Is it true? When will it be released ?
    I also was hoping you can do a lecture on the Maharal of Prague.
    Many thanks ,
    Eliyahu

  35. Dr. Abramson,
    I enjoy watching your lectures on YouTube. Thank you so much for posting them. You are an excellent teacher. I wish when I was attending college I could have sat under your tutelage. Please continue to post your lectures. Thanks again.

  36. Hi Dr. Abramson,
    I am working on a report about the medical writing’s of Maimonides and came across your videos. I enjoyed watching your video very much and hope to listen to more of them. I see you have books written about the Rambam, but don’t see anything particularly about his medical teachings. Do you have any recommendations of where I can learn more? I’ve heard there is a serious of books called Maimonides Medical Writings- do you know of any library that I can get access to these books?
    Thanks,
    Mimi BIrnbaum

  37. Hello Dr.Abramson.
    From the time that I …”Bumped”…into one of your lectures on You tube, I can’t stop listening to your wonderful elaboration and enlightenment of so many aspects of Jewish history. And I enjoy it tremendously.

    However. On some of your lectures. Like the one on Rabbi A.Y. Kook or the segment on the life of Emma Jacobs and a few others, the audio is defective. No matter how high I turn up the volume the recording is completely inaudible.

    I wonder if there is a way to fix that problem. Because I am very anxious to listen and absorb those important segments of Jewish history….
    M. Klein Brooklyn, NY

  38. Something’s been driving me nuts lately, something you mentioned in one of your YouTube lectures I didn’t write down, about a martyred messiah claimant who had an invisibility cloak which could also be laid on water to allow him to walk on it. Please, please, help me with this mental sliver; who was he and which lecture did you mention him in and where can more information about him be found?

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