Rabbi Karp, Historian Who Taught at Seminary, Dies

Published November 28, 2003, issue of November 28, 2003.

Rabbi Abraham Karp, a historian who taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary, died November 24 in Manhattan. Karp collapsed on the sidewalk while on the way to his cardiologist’s office. The cause of death is not yet known. He was 82.

After being ordained at JTS in 1945, Karp served congregations in Swampscott, Mass., and Kansas City, Mo., before becoming the religious leader of Beth El in Rochester in 1956. He became a history and religion professor at the University of Rochester in 1972, a post he held until becoming the Philip S. Bernstein professor emeritus of Jewish studies at the school in 1991. That year, he moved to New York where he became an adjunct professor of American Jewish history at JTS. He is the author of many books and articles including “Haven and Home: A History of the Jews in America,” “Jewish Continuity in America” and “From the Ends of the Earth.” In 1972, he was elected president of the American Jewish Historical Society.

Karp is survived by his wife, Dr. Deborah Burstein Karp; two sons, Hillel and David; two daughters-in-law, Arlene and Barbara, and six grandchildren, Joshua, Aaron, Rachel, Sarah, Beth and Benjamin.



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