Sep 14, 2006 — Rabbi Elie Abadie, MD has been appointed director of Yeshiva University’s (YU) Jacob E. Safra Institute of Sephardic Studies. Rabbi Abadie will coordinate all activities of the Academic Sephardic Studies Program and will also offer courses on Sephardic halakhah (Jewish law) and tradition at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women. The Safra Institute prepares students for leadership roles in Sephardic communities.
The position was last held by the Haham, the late Rabbi Dr. Solomon Gaon, one of the leading rabbinical figures of the 20th century and lecturer on Sephardic culture. He was co-founder of YU’s Sephardic Studies Program.
Rabbi Abadie is a graduate of Yeshiva College and the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He was ordained at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and received his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Rabbi Abadie has been a pulpit rabbi since 1984 and since 2003 has been the spiritual leader of the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue. Simultaneously he has maintained a thriving medical practice.
A native of Lebanon, Rabbi Abadie grew up in Mexico City. He speaks four languages and has published widely on topics related to Sephardic traditions, philanthropy, medical ethics, and halakha (Jewish law).
The Sephardic student body at YU includes more than 300 undergraduates and 100 graduate students. Rabbi Dr. Herbert C. Dobrinsky, vice president for university affairs and co-founder with Rabbi Gaon of the Sephardic Programs at YU, serves as consultant to these programs. The Safra Institute has heightened interest in Sephardic studies and courses on Judeo-Persian and Jewish Middle Eastern Studies are now being taught at YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.
Rabbi Moshe Tessone serves as Director of Sephardic Community Programs and Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Haim and Rabbi Zvulum Lieberman both are Maxwell R. Maybaum Professors and Sephardic Halakhah.