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Rabbi Kassel Abelson papers

Identifier: umja0135

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of administrative, professional, and personal materials related to Rabbi Kassel Abelson's career and includes: subject files related to various subjects of interest in the form of newspaper clippings, journal articles, and magazine articles; sermons written on 3x5 cards with information regarding various subjects of interest; Beth El administrative files including service booklets and sheet music, bulletins, prayer and reading guides, wedding information, and correspondence; materials related to Jewish organizations, such as United Synagogue Youth, the Women's League for Conservative Judaism, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, the Jewish Community Center, and the Federation; publications and writings including notes, drafts, sermons for High Holidays and weddings, and eulogies written on 3x5 cards; and media including audio reels from concerts, records from Abelson's personal collection, and VHS tapes from different services.


  • 1913-2013
  • Majority of material found in 1943-2000


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Rabbi Kassel Abelson was born and raised in Brooklyn by a Lithuanian rabbi father and an American mother. After graduating from New York University in 1942, he was ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1948. He went to Beth El Synagogue in 1948, but left in 1951, becoming a chaplain in the United States Army Air Corps and travelling to Morocco. He returned to Beth El in 1957 as assistant rabbi to Rabbi David Aronson, until Aronson's retirement, when Abelson became Senior Rabbi in his place. Before retiring in 1992 in order to become more active in setting national Judaic policy, Abelson worked closely with the Women's Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, helping create United Synagogue Youth, and he also contributed to Beth El's relocation to St. Louis Park from North Minneapolis in the 1960s.


33.13 Cubic Feet (45 boxes total -- 24 paige boxes, 1 tall box, 1 hollinger box, 1 half hollinger box, 18 card boxes)

Language of Materials




This collection consists of the professional and personal papers of Rabbi Kassel Abelson during his rabbinate career, principally from his time as assistant rabbi and Senior Rabbi at Beth El Synagogue in North Minneapolis and later Saint Louis Park.


This collection is divided into series:

Series 1: Subject Files

Series 2: Beth El Administrative Files

-- Sub-series 1: General Administrative

-- Sub-series 2: Correspondence

-- Sub-series 3: Personal

-- Sub-series 4: Service and Educational Materials

-- Sub-series 5: Memorials, Tributes, and Dedication

-- Sub-series 6: Weddings

Series 3: Jewish Organizations

-- Sub-series 1: Rabbinical Assembly

-- Sub-series 2: Women's League for Conservative Judaism

-- Sub-series 3: Other Organizations

Series 4: Publications and Writings

Series 5: Media

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Kassel Abelson and family in 2017.

Rabbi Kassel Abelson papers, 1913-2013
Bryanna Bauer
January 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Jewish Archives Collecting Area