Name: Rabbi Judith Z. Abrams, Ph.D.
Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, PA
Address: 5444 Rutherglenn Dr,
Houston, TX 77096-4032
Phone: 713-723-2918 (office) or 713-721-8906 (home)
Internet: sabrams613@yahoo.com
Homepage: www.maqom.com
Personal: Married, Husband: Steven Abrams, MD, Professor of Pediatrics,
Baylor College of Medicine. Three children, ages 16 to 21 yrs.
Ph.D. Jewish Studies, Baltimore Hebrew University, major in Rabbinic Literature with
minors in Bible and Modern Jewish History, Baltimore, MD, 1993.
Award: The Gedaliah and Chana Cohen Prize for General Excellence.
Rabbinic Ordination: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati,
OH, 1985.
Awards: Simon Lazarus Memorial Prize for Ordination with highest academic
Mrs. Arthur Hays Sulzberger Prize in Homiletics.
Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn Prize for most effective educational or social
action project in a congregation.
Master of Arts (in Hebrew Letters): Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion,
Cincinnati, OH, 1984.
Awards: Mother Hirsch Prize for Noteworthy Master of Hebrew Letters, 1984.
B'nai Zion Gold Medal for Hebrew Proficiency, 1982.
Herman Snyder Prize for Academic Excellence, 1981.
Bachelor of Arts (with Highest Honors): Sociology/Anthropology, Oberlin College,
Oberlin, OH, 1980. Minor in Russian.
2001 present Faculty, Aleph Rabbinical Ordination (Smichah) Program
2002-2005 Adjunct Faculty, Siegal College of Jewish Studies
1997 Adjunct Faculty, University of Houston Law Center, 1997
1995 present Founder and Director, Maqom: A School for Adult Talmud Study
1994- present Associate, CLAL, The National Jewish Center for Learning and
1991 1995 Rabbi, Congregation Beth El, Houston, TX
1988-1991 Rabbi, Congregation Ner Shalom, Woodbridge, VA
1985-1988 Assistant Rabbi, Congregation Emanu El, Houston, TX
2005 Inaugural member of JERRI Wall of Honor (JESNA).
2005 Named A Woman of Courage (Hadassah).
2000 Named Senior Religious Advisor of the State of Texas.
1999 Awarded the Covenant Award for Outstanding Jewish Educator.
Highest award nationally for Jewish Education ($25,000).
1996 Yavneh Award for Distinguished Community Service by a Jewish
Educator, Jewish Federation of Houston, 1996.
1993 Named: A "Woman on the Move”.
1984 Lillian Miller Teacher Incentive Grant, Cincinnati Bureau of
Jewish Education.
American Academy of Religion
Association for Jewish Studies
Society for Biblical Literature
National Association of Temple Educators
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, Life Member
Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah
Jewish Women International, Life Member
Melitz Professional Advisory Board
1 The Other Talmud (Jewish Lights, 2012).
2 A Talmud Tale, Ben Yehuda Press, 2010, with David Schechter and Ned
3 Jewish Perspectives on Theology and the Human Experience of Disability,
co-editor, Haworth Press, 2007, Hayworth Press.
4 What is Jewish About America’s Favorite Pastime, co-editor, College of
William and Mary Press, 2006.
5 Torah & Company: Ben Yehudah Press 2005.
6 The Babylonian Talmud: A Topical Guide, University of America Press,
7 Illness and Health in the Jewish Tradition: Writings from the Bible to
Today, with David Freeman, M.D. JPS, 1999.
8 A Beginner’s Guide to the Steinsaltz Talmud. Jason Aronson, 1999.
9 Judaism and Disability: Portrayals in Ancient Texts from the Tanach
through the Bavli. Gallaudet University Press, 1998. Recipient, Koret
Jewish Studies Publications Program Publication Subsidy, 1998.
10 Talmud for Beginners III: Living in a Non-Jewish World. Jason Aronson,
11 The Women of the Talmud. Jason Aronson, 1995.
12 Learn Talmud: How to Use the Steinsaltz English Talmud. Jason
Aronson, 1995.
13 Jewish Parenting: Rabbinic Insights. With Steven Abrams. Jason
Aronson, 1994.
14 The Talmud for Beginners: Volume II, Text. Jason Aronson, 1993.
15 The Talmud for Beginners: Volume I, Prayer. Jason Aronson, 1991.
16 The Secret World of Kabbalah, KARBEN, 2006. (A Sydney Taylor Notable Book
2006, Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library
Association 2007 Popular Paperback for Young Adults)
17 Gates of Repentance for Young People, CCAR Press, 2002.
18 Simchat Torah: A Family Celebration. Kar Ben Copies, 1995.
19 A Family Sukkot Seder. Kar Ben Copies, 1993.
20 Shabbat: A Family Service. Kar Ben Copies, 1991.
21 Rosh Hashanah: A Family Service. Kar Ben Copies, 1990.
22 Selichot: A Family Service. Kar Ben Copies, 1990.
23 Yom Kippur: A Family Service. Kar Ben Copies, 1990.
24 “Jewish Texts: The Owner’s Manual”, Maqom (www.maqom.com),
25 "Bright Lights in Dark Times" and Leader's Guide, with Steven Folberg
and Cheri E. Silver, ARE, 1995.
26 "Hesed V'Emet, AIDS: Our Responsibility as Jews", with Arthur Vernon,
Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, New York, 1989.
Articles and Chapters
1 “A Twelve-Step Guide to Become Addicted…to Talmud Study”, Reform Jewish
Quarterly, Summer 2014, pp. 77-83.
2 Kol Ishah—Sexuality and the voice of a Woman,” in The Sacred Encounter, Lisa
Grushcow, ed., 2004, pp. 97-100.
3 “Jacob, Joseph, and His Brothers: A Story of Child Abuse? Tikkun Magazine (online),
February, 2014.
4 “A Twelve-Step Guide to Become Addicted…to Talmud Study,” CCAR Journal,
Summer 2014, pp. 77-83.
5 “Mystical Journeys and Magical Letters: The Y’rushalmi’s Cosmology in the
Machor”, CCAR Journal, Summer 2013, pp. 153-163.
6 “About That Miraculous Cruse of Oil”, Jewish Standard, December 9, 2011, p. 23.
7 “Disabilities” and “Deafness” entries in Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, in
press, DeGruyters.
8 “The Road Less Traveled: The Evolution of a Rabbinic Career”, CCAR Journal,
Winter, 2011, pp. 93-100.
9 “Swim in a Whole Different Sea of Talmud: Learn Yerushalmi!”, CCAR Journal, Fall,
2009, pp. 63-79.
10 “There and Back Again—Journey into the “Death Zone”; Jewish Relational Care and
Disabilities”in Jewish Relational Care A-Z, Jack H. Bloom, editor, Haworth
Press, 2006.
11 “A Seriously Beautiful Phrase: ‘Honor and Adornment’” in Living Torah, Elaine Rose
Glickman, ed., URJ Press, 2005, pp. 187-188.
12 “What’s so Jewish about America’s Pastime?”, Voices, Volume XCVII, Number 14,
Fall 2005, pp. 6-7.
13 “A Seriously Beautiful Phrase: ‘Honor and Adornment’” in Living Torah: Selections
from Torat Chayim, Elaine Rose Glickman, ed., URJ, in press.
14 “On Living With Chronic Illness,” Bio-Ethics Study Guide #13: Spiritual Challenges
of Living With Chronic Illness. Union for Reform Judaism, Winter 2004-2005,
pp. 3-6.
15 “Misconceptions About Disabilities in the Hebrew Bible,” Journal of Religion,
Disability & Health (in press).
16 “Haftarat Naso” in The Women’s Haftarah Commentary, Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, ed.
Jewish Lights, 2004, pp. 166-170.
17 “Disabilities, Judaism and,” The Jewish Encyclopedia, Jacob Neusner, ed. (Leiden,
Brill, 2003), pp. 1696-1705.
18 “Torah Service”, Pray Tell: A Hadassah Guide to Jewish Prayer, Rabbi Jules Harlow,
ed., 2003, pp. 156-157.
19 “Technology and Jewish Education: A Summary,”Jewish Education News, Spring
2002, Volume 23, Number 2, pp. 37-38.
20 “The Continuity of Change in Jewish Liturgy,” Platforms and Prayerbooks:
Theological and Liturgical Perspectives on Reform Judaism, New York:
Roman and Littlefield, ed. Dana Kaplan, 2002, pp. 119-128.
21 “Life-long Learning and Teaching: A Model From Rabbinic Literature,”Jewish
Education News, Winter 2001, Volume 22, Number 1, p. 21.
22 “Parshat Naso: Midah K’Neged Midah Or What Goes Around Comes
/ltw_5761_naso.html, 2001.
23 “How Do You Free Yourself From That Which Isolates You?: Parshat Metsorah” in
Learn Torah With…A 1995-1996 Torah Annual: A Collection of the Year’s
Best Torah”, Rabbi Stuart Kelman and Joel Lurie Grishaver, eds., Los Angeles:
Alef Design Group, 1999, pp. 229-233.
24 “Internet Spirituality,” Shema, November, 1999, pp. 5-6.
25 “Could Women Study Torah and Adjudicate Questions in the Rabbinic Era?” Jewish
Education News, Summer 1999, Volume 20, Number 2, pp. 18-19.
26 “The Spiritual Dimension of Food” Jewish Herald-Voice, June 10, 1998, p. 2.
27 “How to Build a Growing Community: Advice From the Talmud,” Jewish Education
News, Spring 1998, Volume 19, Number 1, pp. 13-14.
28 “Yes, It Can: Building a True OnLine Community,” Jewish Education News, Spring
1998, Volume 19, Number 1, pp. 43-44.
29 “Trumah,” Learn Torah With…. Volume 4, Number 19, February 18, 1998.
30 “Sotah Waters,” in Beginning the Journey: A Women’s Commentary on Torah, Emily
H. Feigenson, ed. (New York: WRJ, 1997), pp. 128-131.
31 “http://Torah: Learning Online,” Hadassah Magazine, October, 1997, pp. 41-43.
32 “Decoding the Symbolism in Texts,” Jewish Education News, Summer, 1997, Volume
18, Number 2, pp. 18-19.
33 “Creativity and Text: New Paths to Tzitzit and Tefillin,” Kerem, #5, 5757/1997, pp.
34 “Ancient and Contemporary Differences Between Learning in Israel and in the
Diaspora,” Jewish Education News, Winter, 1997, Volume 18, Number 1, pp.
35 “Some Key Questions to Ask When Studying a Jewish Text,” Jewish Education News,
Winter, 1996, pp. 17-20.
36 “Studying Talmud With Cyberhevruta,” Jewish Education News, Winter, 1996, p. 10.
37 "The Reflexive Relationship of Mal'achei HaSharet and the Sages," CCAR Journal,
Summer/Fall, 1995, pp. 25-34.
38 "The Use of Animals in Medical Research," with Steven A. Abrams, in The Fetus and
Fertility in Jewish Law: Essays and Responsa. Walter Jacob and Moshe
Zemer, editors. (Pittsburgh: Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah, 1995),
pp. 119-130.
39 "Why Study Talmud To Prepare for the Seder?"Jewish Education News, Spring, 1995,
Volume 16, Number 2, pp. 18-19.
40 "The Use of Animals in Medical Research. The Health of the Fetus and the Newborn:
A Liberal Halakhic Perspective," with Steven A. Abrams, Halakhah, Volume 2,
Number 2, February 1995, pp. 1-3.
41 "How Geography Affects Prayer," Jewish Education News , Volume 16, Number 1,
Winter, 1995, pp.21-23 .
42 "Responsa: May Animals be Used for Medical Research to Aid Humans?" with Steven
A. Abrams, Moment Magazine, Volume 19, Number 6, December, 1994, pp.
43 "Setting Limits: Lessons from a Talmudic Model," Jewish Education News, Volume
15, Number 3, Summer, 1994, pp. 12-13.
44 "Recognizing, And Repudiating, Anti-Christian Polemic in Classic Jewish Sources,"
C.C.A.R. Journal, Winter, 1994, pp. 35-41.
45 "Eikev: The Consequence of God's Judgment,” The Jewish Bible Quarterly, Jerusalem,
Volume XXII, No I (85), January 1994, pp. 47-50.
46 "Incorporating Christian Symbols into Judaism: The Case of Midrash Eleh Ezkerah,"
C.C.A.R. Journal, (Summer, 1993), pp. 11-20.
47 "Metsora(at) KaShaleg: Leprosy and Challenges to Authority in the Tanach," The
Jewish Bible Quarterly, Jerusalem, Volume 21, No. 1 (81), January, 1993, pp.,
48 "What Characterizes the Ideal Ger/Gioret? The Politics of Tradition's Answer,"
C.C.A.R. Journal, New York, (Spring, 1992), pp. 29-34.
49 "Ason: A Fate Worse Than Death," The Jewish Bible Quarterly, Jerusalem, (Spring,
1992, Volume XX, No. 3 (79)), pp. 195-198.
50 "Mourning Our Infants: A Reappraisal of Jewish Practice," with Dr. Steven A.
Abrams. C.C.A.R. Journal, New York, (Fall, 1991).
51 "Was Isaac Disabled?" The Reconstructionist, Philadelphia (Autumn 1990, vol.
LVI/No. 1).
52 "Isaac Knew the Secret," Moment Magazine (August, 1990, Volume 15, Number 4)
53 "Rachel: The Woman Who Would be a Mother," The Jewish Bible Quarterly,
Jerusalem, (Summer, 1990, volume 18-4 (72)).
54 "The Negative Image of America in the Russian-Language Jewish Press (1881-1910),"
American Jewish History, March 1986. (And translated into Hebrew and
published in Quesher, No.4, November, 1988, Tel Aviv.)
55 "A Student Teacher Program," The Twelfth Annual Round-up of the Pedagogic
Reporter, 1984.
56 "Leningrad's Jews," Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Spring, 1981.
Book Reviews
1 “The Jerusalem Talmud First Order: Zeraim Tractates Peah and Demai, CCAR
Journal, 2011, pp. 211-217.
2 “This Abled Body: Rethinking Disabilities in Bibilical Studies”, Shofar, 2009 (in
3 “To Reveal Our Hearts: Jewish Women Writers in Tsarist Russia,”,CCAR Journal,
Summer 2001, pp. 97-98.
4 "Talmud Bavli, Tracate Makkos," Shofar, Winter, 1991, vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 101-102.
1 New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible: Numerous entries.