Abrams, Judith Z.

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ABRAMS, Judith Z.

PERSONAL: Born in Pittsburgh, PA. Education: Oberlin College, B.A. (with highest honors), 1980; Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati, OH), M.A.H.L., 1984; Baltimore Hebrew University, Ph.D., 1993. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES: Offıce—Maqom, P.O. Box 31900-323, Houston, TX 77231. E-mail—maqom@compassnet. com.

CAREER: Ordained rabbi, 1985; assistant rabbi of Jewish congregation in Houston, TX, 1985-88; rabbi of Jewish congregations in Woodbridge, VA, 1988-91, and Houston, 1991-95; Maqom (school for adult Talmud study), Houston, founder and director, 1994—. National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, associate, 1994—; University of Houston, adjunct faculty member of Law Center, 1997; Aleph Simchah Program, faculty member, 2001—; Siegal College of Jewish Studies, adjunct faculty member, 2002—; also teacher of Internet programs on Torah and Talmud studies. Member of Central Conference of American Rabbis, Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah, and, beginning 2002, Melitz professional advisory board; State of Texas, appointed senior religious advisor, 2000.

MEMBER: Jewish Women International (life member), American Academy of Religion, Association for Jewish Studies, Society for Biblical Literature, National Association of Temple Educators, National Conference of Jewish Women (life member), Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (life member), Hadassah (life member).

AWARDS, HONORS: B'nai Zion Gold Medal, 1982; Lillian Miller grant, Cincinnati Bureau of Jewish Education, 1984; Yavneh Award for Distinguished Community Service by a Jewish Educator, Jewish Federation of Houston, 1996; Covenant Award, outstanding Jewish educator, 1999; grant from Koret Jewish Studies Publications Program, 1998; Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn Prize; Mrs. Arthur Hays Sulzberger Prize in Homiletics; Gedaliah and Chana Cohen Prize.


(With Arthur Vernon) Hesed V'Emet, AIDS: Our Responsibility as Jews, Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (New York, NY), 1989.

The Talmud for Beginners, Jason Aronson (New York, NY), Volume 1: Prayer, 1991, Volume 2: Text, 1993.

(With Steven Abrams) Jewish Parenting: RabbinicInsights, Jason Aronson (New York, NY), 1994.

Learn Talmud: How to Use the Steinsaltz EnglishTalmud, Jason Aronson (New York, NY), 1995.

The Women of the Talmud, Jason Aronson (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Steven Folbert and Cheri E. Silver) BrightLights in Dark Times, with leader's guide, ARE, 1995.

Talmud for Beginners III: Living in a Non-JewishWorld, Jason Aronson (New York, NY), 1997.

Judaism and Disability: Portrayals in Ancient Texts from the Tanach through the Bavli, Gallaudet University Press (Washington, DC), 1998.

A Beginner's Guide to the Steinsaltz Talmud, Jason Aronson (New York, NY), 1999.

(With David Freeman) Illness and Health in the Jewish Tradition: Writings from the Bible to Today, Jewish Publication Society of America (Philadelphia, PA), 1999.

Guided Meditations for Torah Portions, Holidays, andHealing, Maqom (Houston, TX), 2001.

Jewish Texts: The Owner's Manual, Maqom (Houston, TX), 2001.

The Babylonian Talmud: A Topical Guide, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 2002.

Contributor to books, including Jewish Law: Essays and Responsa, edited by Walter Jacob and Moshe Zemer, Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah (Pittsburgh, PA), 1995. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including American Jewish History, Shofar, Reconstructionist, Jewish Bible Quarterly, Moment, Hadassah, Shema, and Jewish Education News.


Yom Kippur: A Family Service, Kar-Ben Copies (Rockville, MD), 1990.

Selichot: A Family Service, Kar-Ben Copies (Rockville, MD), 1990.

Rosh Hashana: A Family Service, Kar-Ben Copies (Rockville, MD), 1990.

Shabbat: A Family Service, Kar-Ben Copies (Rockville, MD), 1991.

A Family Sukkot Seder, Kar-Ben Copies (Rockville, MD), 1993.

Simchat Torah: A Family Celebration, Kar-Ben Copies (Rockville, MD), 1995.

Gates of Repentance for Young People, CCAR Press (New York, NY), 2002.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A musical presentation on the Talmud; research on disabilities in Jewish culture and on the use of parallel texts to enrich Talmud teaching.

SIDELIGHTS: Deborah Z. Abrams told CA: "My mission is to help bring the joys of Talmud study to as many people and with as much depth as possible. I teach on the Internet, via telephone conferencing, in classes, and working with individuals.

"I am the founder and director of my own school. In recent years, many rabbis have called to ask me how to create institutions like Maqom, and I am happy to mentor them as they go through this process."



Maqom: School for Adult Talmud Study Web site,http://www.maqom.com/ (September 21, 2004).

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