Guide to the Avraham Hirsch and Hannah Schaiman Freedman Papers

undated, 1928-2017

alt text


JHCP-0002


Processed by Kathleen Mackenzie

Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS

99-101 Newbury Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02116

Phone: (617) 226-1245

Email: jhcreference@nehgs.org

Website: jewishheritagecenter.org

© 2018, Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS. All rights reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Kathleen Mackenzie in July 2017. Finding aid was encoded by Lindsay Sprechman in January 2019. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Avraham Hirsch and Hannah Scaiman Freedman
Title: Avraham Hirsch and Hannah Schaiman Freedman Papers
Dates: undated, 1928-2017
Abstract:
This collection contains the professional and personal papers of Rabbi Avraham Hirsch Freedman, who throughout his career served as rabbi at Congregation Adath Jeshurun (Ottawa, Canada), Durban United Hebrew Congregation (Durban, South Africa), and Congregation Beth Israel (Bangor, Maine), as well as those of his wife Hannah Schaiman Freedman. Included are sermons, lectures, correspondence, life cycle events, eulogies, and news clippings. 
Languages:   The collection is in English, Yiddish, and Hebrew.
Quantity: 3.5 linear feet (7 manuscript boxes, 1 OS folder)
ID:   JHCP-0002
Repository: Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS
Location: Located in Boston, Mass.

Avraham Hirsch and Hannah Schaiman Freedman in an undated photo.

Biographical Note

Rabbi Avraham Hirsch Freedman was born in Minks, Russia (present-day Belarus) on July 26, 1906 to parents Rabbi Elias Freedman and Leah Kaplan. His family emigrated to the United States when he was three years old, first living in Blue Hill, Maine, before permanently settling in Montreal, Canada. 

After his bar mitzvah, Freedman was sent to Yizchak Elchanan Yeshiva in New York City for rabbinical studies. In 1932, he accepted his first position as a rabbi iat Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Ottawa, Canada. He met his wife, Hannah Schaiman, in 1934 and they were married the following year, on January 15, 1935. They had two children, Kadima (Michelson) and David.

In 1936, the couple moved to Durban, South Africa, where Freedman had served as rabbi at the Durban United Hebrew Congregation. He remained in Durban throughout World War II, and served as a chaplain for troops stationed in the community. In 1949, Freedman and his family moved to Bangor, Maine, where hserved as rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel. He remained at Beth Israel until he retired in 1969. After his retirement, he and Hannah lived in Israel for two years before finally settling in Brookline, Massachusetts. He died on June 15, 2000.

Hannah Schaiman Freedman was born on July 13, 1911 in Brooklyn, New York to parents Morris and Rebeecca Schaiman. She attended Maxwell Teacher's Training School in Brooklyn, and later earned a B.A. from the University of Maine. Throughout her life, Hannah studied, wrote, and gave talks  and lectures about Judaism and Jewish History. During her time in Durban, South Africa, she served as president of the Durban Jewish Women’s Guild, as well as the head of the Durban Woman’s Zionist League. She died on February 17, 1998.

References

Material from the collection.

Chronology

July 26, 1906 Avraham Hirsch Freedman is born.
July 13, 1911 Hannah Schaiman Freedman is born.
1932-1936 Avraham Hirsch Freedman serves as rabbi at Congregation Adath Jeshurun.
January 15, 1935 The Freedmans marry.
1936-1949 Avraham Hirsch Freedman serves as rabbi at Durban United Hebrew Congregation.
1949-1969 Avraham Hirsch Freedman serves as rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel.
February 17, 1998 Hannah Schaiman Freedman dies.
June 15, 2000 Avraham Hirsch Freedman dies.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Rabbi Avraham Hirsch Freedman and his wife, Hannah Schaiman Freedman. Included in the collection are sermons, lectures, talks, correspondence, and miscellaneous materials relating to his tenure as rabbis at Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Ottawa, Canada; Durban United Hebrew Congregation in Durban, South Africa; and Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor, Maine, as well as the couple's travels and social lives.


Arrangement

The collection is arranged into a three series as follows:

  • Series I: General, undated, 1935-2017
  • Series II: Avraham Hirsch Freedman, undated, 1932-1990 
    • Subseries A: Personal Papers, undated, 1934-1986
    • Subseries B: Congregation Adath Jeshurun, undated, 1932-1936
    • Subseries C: Durban United Hebrew Congregation, undated, 1939-1982
    • Subseries D: Congregation Beth Israel, undated, 1949-1990
  • Series III: Hannah Schaiman Freedman, undated, 1928-1998

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact jhcreference@nehgs.org.


Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Avraham Hirsch and Hannah Schaiman Freedman Papers; JHCP-0002; box number; folder number; Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS, Boston, Mass.


Acquisition Information

Donated by Kadimah Michelson, 2017.


Access Points

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Subject Names:

  • Freedman, Avraham, 1906-2000
  • Freedman, Hannah, 1911-1998

Subject Organizations:

  • Congregation Adath Jeshurun (Ottawa, Ont.)
  • Congregation Beth Israel (Durban, Me.) 
  • Durban United Hebrew Congregation (Durban, South Africa)

Subject Topics:

Subject Places:

Document Types:


Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I: General, undated, 1935-2017

  • In English and Hebrew.
  • Box 1, OS folder.

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content:

This series contains notes, programs, photographs, travel documents, and correspondence related to the personal lives of Avraham Hirsch and Hannah Schaiman Freedman. Included are family history notes from their daughter Kadima, official programs about the British royal family's visit Durban and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, and brochures, tickets, and menus related to their intercontinental voyages on the RMS Pretoria Castle and the RMS Queen Mary.

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Family History Notes 2017
1 2 Official Souvenir Programme for the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1953
1 3 Official Souvenir Programme for the Royal Visit to Durban 1947
1 4 Photographs undated
1 5 Travel—Embarkation and Landing Guide undated, 1937-1949
1 6 Travel—RMS Pretoria Castle 1949
1 7 Travel—RMS Queen Mary 1949
OS   Travel—RMS Queen Mary—Ocean Times 1949
1 8 Wedding Invitation 1935

 

Series II: Avraham Hirsch Freedman, undated, 1932-1990

  • In English, Hebrew, and Yiddish.
  • Boxes 1-7, OS folder.

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

This series consists of the personal and professional papers of Rabbi Avraham Hirsch Freedman. Included are personal correspondence, news clippings, sermons, life cycle events, writings, and a scrapbook.

Subseries A: Personal Papers, undated, 1934-1993

  • In English and Hebrew.
  • Box 1.

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains correspondence, news clippings, educational records, letterheads, and miscellaneous writings that document Avraham Hirsch Freedman's personal life. 

Box Folder Title Date
1 9 Bangor Rotary Club 1968
1 10 Correspondence 1934-1986
1 11 Letterheads undated
1 12 News Clippings undated, 1934-1993
1 13 University of Maine Records 1951-1964
1 14 Writings undated
1 15 Yeshiva University Seminary  undated
 

 

Subseries B: Congregation Adath Jeshurun, undated, 1932-1936

  • In English. 
  • Box 1.

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains semons and printed materials from Avraham Hirsch Freedman's rabbinate at Congregation Adath Jeshurun. 

Box Folder Title Date
1 16 Holiday Sermons undated, 1936
1 17 Printed Material 1932-1936
1 18 Sermons and Lectures undated, 1932-1935

 

Subseries C: Durban Hebrew Congregation, undated, 1939-1982

  • In English and Hebrew.
  • Boxes 1-2, 7, OS folder. 

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content:

This subseries includes life cycle events, correspondence, articles, news clippings, a scrapbook, and sermons documenting Avraham Hirsch Freedman's rabbinate at Durban United Hebrew Congregation.

Box Folder Title Date
1 19 Bar and Bat Mitzvah undated, 1947-1948
1 20 Centennial Talk 1982
1 21 Conversions undated, 1939
1 22 Correspondence 1939-1949
1 23 Eulogies undated, 1941-1946
OS   Durban United Talmud Torah Hebrew School and Kindergarten 1941
1 24 The Fosa Link: Official Journal of the Friends of the Sick Association 1948
1 25 Gets undated, 1943
1 26 Hashalom Rosh Hashonah Annual and Jewish Year Book 1952
OS   Hashalom Rosh Hashonah Annual and Jewish Year Book—"The Hour Calls for Heroism" undated
1 27 Lectures and Talks undated
2 1 Lectures and Talks 1942-1949
2 2 Miscellaneous Holiday Sermons 1941-1949
2 3 Prayer and Service Booklets undated, 1949
2 4 Prayers undated, 1939-1949
2 5 Report on Activities 1948
2 6 Rosh Hashanah Sermons undated, 1940-1948
2 7 Sermons undated, 1940-1947
7   Scrapbook 1929-1946
2 8 Visiting Hours Cards undated
2 9 Yom Kippur Sermons undated, 1940-1948

 

Subseries D: Congregation Beth Israel, undated, 1949-1990

  • In English and Hebrew.
  • Boxes 2-7.

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content:

This subseries consists of life cycle events, articles, correspondence, sermons, and lectures chronicling Avraham Hirsch Freedman's rabbinate at Congregation Beth Israel. 

Box Folder Title Date
2 10 Anniversaries and Commemorations undated, 1963
2 11 Bangor Community News 1962-1969
2 12 Bar and Bat Mitzvah undated
3 1 Bar and Bat Mitzvah 1956-1969
3 2 Beth Israel Bulletin 1950-1968 1950-1968
3 3 Beth Jacob Bulletin 1966 1966
3 4 Certificate of Authorization to Solemnize Marriages 1950
3 5 Commencement and Installation Dinner 1949-1969
3 6 Correspondence undated, 1950-1990
3 7 Crossing Lines: Histories of Jews and Gentiles in Three Communities Manuscript 1990-1991
3 8 Eulogies undated
3 9 Eulogies 1952-1963
3 10 Eulogies 1964-1982
3 11 Friday Night Lectures undated, 1951-1959
4 1 Friday Night Lectures 1960-1963
4 2 Friday Night Lectures 1964-1968
4 3 Lectures on Prayer and Religion undated, 1950, 1953
4 4 Miscellaneous Holiday Sermons undated, 1951-1964
4 5 Miscellaneous Holiday Sermons 1965-1969
4 6 Miscellaneous Writings undated
4 7 Parashot undated, 1951-1972
4 8 Photographs undated
5 1 Prayer Books undated, 1949
5 2 Prayers undated, 1950-1968
5 3 Reports to the Board of Directors 1965-1968
5 4 Rosh Hashanah undated, 1950-1968
5 5 Rosh Hashanah 1972-1982
5 6 Stories Songs and Poems undated, 1979-1982
5 7 Sunday Talks undated, 1954-1959
5 8 Sunday Talks 1960-1964
6 1 Sunday Talks 1965-1967
6 2 Sunday Talks 1968-1969
6 3 Talks—Miscellaneous undated, 1950-1972
6 4 Talks—Jewish Organizations 1951-1972
6 5 Talks—Non-Jewish Groups 1950-1979
6 6 Testimonial Dinner 1969
6 7 Yom Kippur undated, 1949-1982
7 1 Yom Kippur  

 

Series III: Hannah Schaiman Freedman, undated, 1926-1998

  • In English. 
  • Boxes 7, OS folder.

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content:

This subseries consists of correspondence, news clippings, lectures, and educational records related to Hannah Schaiman Freedman's personal and professional lives. 

Box Folder Title Date
7 2 Correspondence undated, 1942-1943
7 3 Durban Jewish Women's Guild 1943-1946
7 4 Essays and writings undated
7 5 News Clippings undated, 1950-1962
7 6 Obituaries 1998
7 7 Prayers undated
7 8 South Africa Journal undated
OS   South African Red Cross Society Certificates 1940-1942
7 9 Talks undated
7 10 Teaching 1932-1969
7 11 Union of Jewish Women of South Africa 1949
7 12 University of Maine [restricted] 1957-1964
OS   University of the State of New York 1928