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Neuman, Abraham Aaron


NEUMAN, ABRAHAM AARON (1890–1970), U.S. rabbi, historian, and educator. Neuman was born in Brezan, Austria, and immigrated to the United States in 1898. He studied at the Rabbi Isaac Elhanan Yeshivah, Columbia University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was ordained in 1912. Before his ordination, he taught at the Teachers Institute of the Seminary, but the year after, he joined the faculty of *Dropsie College in Philadelphia, where he taught history until 1940. Neuman held rabbinical posts in Philadelphia at the B'nai Jeshurun congregation (1919–27) and the Sephardi congregation Mikveh Israel (1927–40). After Cyrus Adler's death in 1940 Neuman became president of Dropsie College, a post he held until his retirement in 1966. During his incumbency the college expanded its curriculum, adding departments in Middle Eastern studies, education, and philosophy. Active in the development of the Zionist movement in the United States and renowned as an orator, he was much sought after as a public speaker. He also participated actively in the work of the United Synagogue of America.

Neuman produced a number of works of high scholarly merit, chief among them being The Jews in Spain (2 vols., 1942). Based primarily on the responsa of Solomon ibn *Adret (RaShBA), the work has served as a model of research in this type of Jewish source material. Cyrus Adler, a Biography (1942) is the evaluation of the life of an exemplary public servant during the period when American Jewry was assuming worldwide responsibilities. Neuman contributed to many scholarly periodicals, and a number of these studies appeared in Landmarks and Goals (1953). From 1940 to 1966 he collaborated with Solomon Zeitlin in editing the Jewish Quarterly Review.


Zeitlin, in: Studies and Essays in Honor of A.A. Neuman (1962), vii–xiii.

[Solomon Grayzel]

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