Brawer, Abraham Jacob

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BRAWER, ABRAHAM JACOB (1884–1975), Israeli geographer and historian. Brawer, who was born in Stry, Ukraine, studied in Vienna at the university and at the rabbinical seminary. From 1910 to 1911 he taught at a secondary school in Tarnopol. While there he published Dov Ber *Birkenthal's Divrei Binah which dealt with false Messiahs in Jewish history (Ha-Shilo'aḥ, 33 (1917); 38 (1921). In 1911 he settled in Ereẓ Israel and taught at the Ezra Teachers Seminary in Jerusalem. In the summer of 1914 he taught in Salonika and from 1915 to 1918 in Constantinople, where he also served as rabbi of the Ashkenazi congregation. After pursuing research work in geography at the University of Vienna, he returned in 1920 to the Teachers Seminary in Jerusalem, where he taught until 1949. He wrote Avak-Derakhim (2 vols., 1944–46) about his travels in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Persia and his descriptive Ha-Areẓ (later Ereẓ Yisrael), the first modern regional geography of Ereẓ Israel, was published in 1928 (3rd ed. 1954). Brawer also published several textbooks on geography, an atlas, and maps and was geography editor of the Hebrew Encyclopedia. He was one of the three founding members of the *Israel Exploration Society and its first honorary secretary.