Every Wednesday evening the Young Israel of Bal Harbour welcomes an international gathering of guests for Dr. Henry Abramson’s lecture series in Jewish History. Most of the crowd is local, but it also includes some surprising attendees: sixteen from Malaysia, fifty-two from Estonia, two hundred and six from Germany, three hundred and twenty-three from Israel, and several thousand smaller audiences hailing from Saudi Arabia to Sri Lanka. Light refreshments are served, but most in the audience are unable to partake because they watch the lectures at www.yibh.org.
“We’re delighted to have Dr. Abramson as part of our community,” says Rabbi Moshe Gruenstein, whose support was essential in taking these classes to the Internet. “He is a great teacher, and his history classes are a central part of our adult education programming. We like to call him our ‘Permanent Scholar in Residence.’ ”
Dr. Abramson, the author of five books on Jewish history and thought, is dean of Academic Affairs and Student Services at Touro College South, a branch of New York-based Touro College that opened in Miami Beach in 2006. A native of Canada, Dr. Abramson earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Toronto and held numerous post-doctoral and visiting appointments at Cornell, Harvard, Oxford and Hebrew University before joining Rabbi Alan G. Ciner, vice president of Touro College and CEO of Touro College South to develop a campus in South Florida.
Dr. Abramson’s lectures are available online at www.yibh.org. The Spring 2013 lecture series is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, February 6.