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Abrahams, Israel, 1858-1925 (Jewish scholar and historian)



Israel Abrahams' major work was ‘Jewish Life in the Middle Ages’ (1896) which was updated and reissued after his death. He also wrote many other books and articles on Jewish history and Jewish life, and the books were accepted as standard works. From 1888 to 1908 he was editor, jointly with the Anglo-Jewish scholar Claude G. Montefiore, of the Jewish Quarterly Review.

In 1902, after teaching for several years at Jews’ College, London, Abrahams was appointed reader in Talmudic and rabbinic literature at the University of Cambridge, a post he retained until his death. He was also made curator of Oriental literature in the university library in 1906.

Abrahams was among the founders of the Liberal movement, an Anglo-Jewish group that stressed the universality of Jewish ethics, minimised ritual and custom, and originally eschewed Zionism.

In July 1925 a presentation was made to Abrahams in recognition of his services to students at Cambridge, and after his death a memorial to him was held in Senate House (an unusual step marking his involvement in University life).

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Israel Abrahams: Correspondence to [?] Aldis, 1918

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/5-6
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 1918
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (