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Avraham Hirsch and Hannah Schaiman Freedman Papers

Identifier: JHCP-002

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.


  • undated, 1982-2017


Language of Materials

This collection is in English, Yiddish, and Hebrew.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

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

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.


  1. Material in the collection.


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


3.5 linear feet (7 manuscript boxes, 1 OS folder)


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.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Kadimah Michelson, 2017.

Processing Information

Processed by Kathleen Mackenzie, 2017

Guide to the Avraham Hirsch and Hannah Schaiman Freedman Papers, JHCP-002
Processed by Kathleen Mackenzie
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society Repository

99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States