Collection focus: MC 45 Fisher and Evelyn Abramson Papers

In 1989 the Archives of the Center for Jewish Culture, part of the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, were given a collection of materials regarding Fisher and Evelyn Abramson by Irving and Dede Abramson.  Some items were donated earlier, in 1982,  by Evelyn Abramson herself.  Now catalogued, the collection consists of correspondence, awards, photographs, and newspaper clippings. It does not document his career as a lawyer, or his work for various business or civic organizations, but does provide some documentation of his efforts on behalf of the Jewish community of New Bedford, and is especially rich in photographs. Fisher Abramson was the first interview conducted for the Center for Jewish Culture’s oral history project, in 1981, a year before his death. His oral history interview provides information on all of his activities, and is part of MC 23.  The full transcription of the interview is available by contacting the archives.

Fisher Abramson was a well known lawyer and partner in the firm of Abramson, Titus and Putnam of New Bedford, Massachusetts. He was very active in the Jewish community in New Bedford from 1920, when he began to practice law, until his death in 1982, serving on a number of boards and committees. He served as city solicitor from 1933 to 1937; treasurer of the Greater New Bedford Industrial Foundation from 1955 to 1962; was a member of the board of directors of St. Luke’s Hospital from 1947 to 1978, and was president of that body from 1969-1978. He was a trustee of the New Bedford Five Cents Savings Bank for many years, and was vice president and treasurer of the Wamsutta Mills from 1948 to 1955. He was also a trustee of Sassaquin Hospital of New Bedford. In the Jewish community, Abramson served as president of Tifereth Israel congregation for many years, spearheading efforts to build a synagogue on Madison Street, and later on Brownell Avenue. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Jewish Community Center, which opened in the Rodman (Langshaw) Mansion on County Street in 1947. He worked for the Israeli Bond effort, was on the board of Brandeis University. In 1955 he was named B’nai B’rith Man of the year, and in 1975 he and his wife Evelyn were honored for their leadership and service to Greater New Bedford and Israel at a State of Israel Tribute Dinner.

Fisher and Evelyn Abramson married in 1920. They were first cousins. Evelyn was active in the Jewish community; she was the first president of the New Bedford Chapter of Senior Hadassah. She was also active in Tifereth Israel Sisterhood, Hebrew Ladies Helping Hand Society and the New Bedford Section of the National Council of Jewish Women.

The collection may be accessed by visiting the Archives and Special Collections on the mezzanine level of the Claire T. Carney Library.  Appointments are suggested.  The archives are open Monday through Friday between 9:30 and 5:00 pm.

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