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Abrahams, Abraham Isaac

ABRAHAMS, ABRAHAM ISAAC

ABRAHAMS, ABRAHAM ISAAC (1720–1796), religious official and merchant, who was known throughout the American Colonies as a mohel and Hebrew teacher. He spent most of his life in New York City. The Congregation Shearith Israel directed him to "keep a publick school in the ḥebra [community hall] to teach the Hebrew language, and translate the same into English, also to teach English Reading, Writing and Cyphering." He was "rabbi" of the congregation from 1761 and ḥazzan from 1766. In addition to his religious duties, he was a distiller, snuff maker, tobacconist, and merchant, and was elected a constable in New York City in 1753.

bibliography:

J.R. Marcus, American Jewry, Documents, 18th Century (1959), index; Rosenbloom, Biogr Dict, s.v.

[Leo Hershkowitz]

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