Bronx's Historic Woodlawn Cemetery Appoints Social Activist Ruth Abram to Board of Trustees

Experienced NY Historian Joins the Operations Team of New York's Most Famous Resting Place.

Bronx, NY, November 02, 2008 --( The Woodlawn Cemetery, Inc., (Bronx, New York) announced it has elected Ruth J. Abram, New York historian and social activist, as a trustee of The Woodlawn Cemetery. In this role, Ms. Abram will be part of the nine-member Board of Trustees that establishes policy, allocates finances and oversees the general governance of New York’s most famous cemetery.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ruth to the Woodlawn family,” said Woodlawn Chairman Carolyn Clark. “As a New York historian who has advocated for immigrants, women, Jews, African Americans and other marginalized groups throughout history, Ruth brings a unique appreciation of the diverse stories and impact of the great people memorialized here at Woodlawn.”

Ms. Abram is a long-time advocate of the concept that historical sites like Woodlawn have an important contemporary social purpose. In her most recent post, Ms. Abram founded and served as president of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, where she led the effort to establish the Museum as a National Historic Landmark. The Museum has since stimulated dialogue surrounding the trials of urban, immigrant and working class communities, and has established an important role in New York and American history.

“We are so impressed with Ruth’s wealth of experience, as well as her impressive track record of obtaining community support for untraditional but historically significant sites,” added John P. Toale, Jr., president and CEO of The Woodlawn Cemetery.

After fulfilling her commitment to the museum, Ms. Abram saw an opportunity to contribute her passion to The Woodlawn Cemetery. Ms. Abram says she is delighted to come on board.

“The Woodlawn Cemetery is very interesting to me,” said Ms. Abram. “The Cemetery is an important historical site that not only honors the lives of some of the greatest American figures, but also represents our constantly changing views of death, dying and memorialization.”

According to Ms. Abram, her new appointment comes at a perfect time in her own career, as well as Woodlawn’s legacy.

“For many years, I’ve been interested in the power of history to affect social change,” said Ms. Abram. “Historical sites like Woodlawn present a unique opportunity to reflect on our national culture and the various changes that have emerged in the past century. In my new position, I am very excited to work with the Board in leading that reflection.”

Ms. Abram received a Masters in Social Work from Brandeis University in Boston and a Masters in American History from New York University, where she was a Kennan Fellow. She completed her undergraduate work at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Ruth Abram and her husband, Herbert Teitelbaum, live in Hudson, New York.

About The Woodlawn Cemetery
The Woodlawn Cemetery was established in 1863 to provide a more accessible, peaceful burial ground for Manhattan residents. In 1866, The New York Times praised Woodlawn as “sufficiently remote from the island of Manhattan to be beyond the reach of its noise, and the disturbance from the extension of the city.” Located just 30 minutes from Manhattan just below Westchester County, the 400-acre cemetery’s rolling lawns, spectacular trees and impressive memorials are designed by many of the nation's most accomplished architects, landscape designers and artists. Woodlawn is the final resting place for more than 300,000 historically relevant American figures of various races, cultures and religions, including Duke Ellington, Herman Melville, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many others. Today, Woodlawn continues to provide a full line of memorial products and services to meet the needs of its diverse New York community, including private and community mausoleums, cremation services and in-ground burial options.

The Woodlawn Cemetery
Stephanie Wolf