Iranian Jewish Culure
Dr. Houshang Ebrami

Dr. Houshang Ebrami

Author, Scholar

Dr. Houshang Ebrami paid particular attention to the unique aspects of Judaism, as Jewish history, culture and literature preoccupied his mind. It was as if deep inside his soul, he was worried about a community in disarray and about the future of the younger generation, especially from religious and social points of view.

Houshang Ebrami was born in summer 1934 C.E., the 22nd of the month of Tir 1313 of the Persian calendar, in Hamedan, Iran. Following his elementary and high school education in Tehran, he received in 1956 a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from University of Tehran; where two years later, he would also earn his Master’s Degree in Social Sciences with Honors. In 1962, with a scholarship from Pittsburgh University, he traveled to the Pennsylvania, United States, where he received an Advanced Certificate in Library Sciences.

Upon returning home, he was employed by Bank Markazi “Central Bank”, where he established the Center for Documents and Information, the first of its kind in Iran. He was then invited by University of Tehran to teach Library Sciences, which he would also teach simultaneously at University of Shiraz.

In mid-1967, he married his cousin — his maternal aunt’s daughter — Shahla Yafeh. The couple brought a daughter and a son to the world.

The same year, he received another scholarship, this time for a Doctorate Degree in Information Sciences, which would take him again to Pittsburgh University. Having earned his doctorate, he returned to Iran and was appointed as the President of the Library of the School of Literature and Sciences at University of Shiraz. Meanwhile, six years of teaching earned him full professorship at the said university. In his last year in Shiraz, the Ministry of the Royal Court invited him to collaborate in founding the greatest national library in Iran.

Even at a young age, Houshang Ebrami’s inherent enthusiasm and gifts for writing were apparent. At 11, he became the editor of the Wallpaper at Nezami Elementary School. His work was so excellent that the national Kayhan Daily praised him as a “precocious child”. Later, other publications such as Omid-e Iran (Iran’s Hope), Sepid va Siah (Black and White), Roshanfekr (Intellectual), Kavian and Ferdowsi, would publish his articles. Most of Dr. Ebrami’s writings in Iran were centered around academic and pedagogic issues, and as such, the majority of his books were published by university publishers. His comprehensive knowledge of Persian language and literature, his mastery at producing eloquent, beautiful and witty phrases, and his ability to develop topics more comprehensibly by the use of allegories and metaphors, these made his work pleasant to the reader. His extensive research in the history of Mashroutiat, i.e. the Constitutional Revolution in Iran, made him write his Life of Sattar-Khan, a book about the historical figure, which would be reprinted many times. In 1973, he published his book in Persian entitled The Principles of Creating Subject-Based Lists for Persian Texts. Two years later, the book earned him the Royal Award for the Best Book of the Year.

In 1979, Dr. Houshang Ebrami and his family immigrated to the United States. In Los Angeles, he resumed his extensive research and cultural activities, earning fame in the Iranian diaspora as an outstanding figure and a master of both Iranian and Jewish cultures. He wrote for years in many cultural publications, headed the authors’ board of the significant magazine Chashm-Andaaz, and penned several books. Houshang Ebrami’s interest in introducing the foundations of Judaism and its beliefs to the world made the nascent Habib Levy Cultural Foundation to invite him for collaboration. He began working closely with the Foundation in 1995. Besides his role in establishing the Foundation, he revised and published Dr. Habib Levy’s 3-volume History of the Jews of Iran, and prepared it for publication in one volume in Persian entitled Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran. The book would be published also in an English translation by George W. Meschke under the said title. In 1998 he published his book, Khak-e Khoub-e Khoda (God’s Good Soil), a review of the history of the land of Israel, published by the Habib Levy Cultural Foundation. In 2001, he published his next book Dar Jost-o Jou-ye Haghighat (In Search of the Truth).

The incessant and relentless endeavors of Houshang Ebrami, this erudite man and excellent writer, within the framework of various Los Angeles-based foundations and organizations were without equal. He loved his work, and he wrote with passion and honesty. And his love of Judaism, the Holy Land, and the commandments of the Torah were indescribable.

On November 28th, 2003, the master author Dr. Houshang Ebrami suffered a heart attack, and he died in Los Angeles at the young age of 69.

In 2006, his faithful wife, his lifetime companion, and his longtime supporter, published all his surviving work, notes and collection of articles under Raz-e Avaregi (The Secret of Exile”).

Dr. Houshang Ebrami’s original writings or translations in Persian also include in part:

The Prehistoric Cavemen

Australia and Its People

The Divan of Hafez, Translated to English

Raising Children in a Difficult Age

An Introduction to the Study of Knowledge

List of:Nobility