Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
News

Rabbi Karp, Historian Who Taught at Seminary, Dies

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.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.