Abraham J. Karp (1921-2003), Papers

  • Dates: 1984-1986
  • Size: 0.2 linear ft.
  • Number of Containers: 2 folders in Ratner Center Vertical Files
  • Languages: English
  • Location: Special Collections Reading Room, Jewish Theological Seminary Library.
  • Restrictions: Reproduction of fragile items is not permitted; consult the archivist about literary rights.
  • Gift Of: Abraham Karp
  • Date: December 27, 1990

NJS, 6/17/91

Table of Contents:

A Note on Folder Headings

Individual folders are identified in the following way on the left side of each folder: Name of Collection, box #/folder#, as in Ben Zion Bokser Papers, 4/22. Please use this format in citations and when referring to files for any other reason.

Biographical Note

Rabbi and historian Abraham Joshua Karp was born on April 5, 1921, in Indura (Amdur) Poland, and was brought to the United States in 1930. He earned a diploma at the Teacher's Institute of Yeshiva University in 1939, and a B.A. there in 1942. He was ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1945, and received a Master of Hebrew Letters at JTS in 1948.

Karp was the assistant director of the Seminary College at the Jewish Theological Seminary, 1945, and the director of the Metropolitan New York Region of The United Synagogue of America, 1946-1947, before taking a pulpit job. From 1948-1951 Rabbi Karp was the rabbi of Temple Israel, Swampscott, MA; from 1951-1956 he worked with the senior rabbi at Congregation Keneseth Israel-Beth Shalom, Kansas City; and from 1956-1972 he was the rabbi at Temple Beth El, Rochester, NY. During his time in the rabbinate he was active in the Rabbinical Assembly.

In 1972 Rabbi Karp retired from congregational life to devote himself full time to scholarly research and teaching as a professor of history and religious studies at the University of Rochester. He has also been a visiting professor at Dartmouth, JTS, and Hebrew University.

Rabbi Karp returned to New York City in 1991, to serve as a resident scholar at the Seminary. He died on November 24, 2003.

Collection Description

This collection includes an annotated, typescript of "A Century of Conservative Judaism in America," which was published in the American Jewish Year Book, 86 (NY, 1986); a manuscript of "Conservative Judaism Since the Tercentenary," which was delivered at the Conference on American Judaism Since the Tercentenary at Ohio State University, April 9, 1984; a manuscript of the paper "The Future of Conservative Judaism," ca.1985; and a group of notes from readings and conversations with Seminary faculty.