Rabbi Max Ticktin z”l (1920-2016)

Max and Esther Ticktin came to Washington, D.C. in 1972 when he was the associate national director of Hillel.   In 1979 he joined the faculty of the George Washington University where he taught courses in Hebrew language and contemporary Israeli literature until his retirement in 2014.  In 2016, the university announced the establishment of a newly endowed professorial chair named for him with a focus on Israel studies.   They were the heart and soul of Fabrangen from when they joined in 1972, a year after Fabrangen started, until his death on July 3, 2016.



Funeral Service for Max Ticktin – Tifereth Israel – July 6, 2016

Funeral service – July 2016

Photos and Video from Shiva for Max  – July 10, 2016


In August 2000 Rabbi Gilah Langner conducted an interview with Max and Esther:

Talking with the Ticktins, published in the 2001 issue of Kerem Magazine,  Vol. 7.

Max Ticktin interviewed about Heschel:

In January 2013, Dr. Marsha Rozenblit, a noted historian and longtime Fabrangen member, sat down with Max at his home to discuss the legacy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a few weeks past Heschel’s 40th yahrtzeit. The video clips below were taken from the interview; the questions above each clip were asked by Dr. Rozenblit.
Produced by Susan Barocas. Videography by Gregory Walsh. The production of this video was made possible by an anonymous gift to Fabrangen in honor of our teacher Rabbi Max Ticktin and the legacy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Click here —  Max on Heschel   to view the interview.

Max Ticktin and activism:


 I remember Max describing his and Esther’s experience studying with Martin Buber in Jerusalem. Max said that Martin Buber, so to speak, practiced what he preached regarding the I-Thou relationship. In particular, during classes, when a student asked him a question, Martin Buber would walk over to the student, look at the student’s face, and speak directly (and kindly) with the student (presumably loudly enough so that all the other students could hear the interchange).
I remember that during part of the time Fabrangen met at G.W. Hillel, the specific candies that Max kept in his tallis bag and gave out to the children were long red twisted licorice sticks. However, yesterday my daughter Flora told me that before and after that phase, Max had other types of candy in his tallis bag.

I remember Max telling a story (more than once) that on a trip to Istanbul (?), he declined a gabbai’s request that he do the Torah leyning, and after services was told by the gabbai “You should have done it” (because the leyner had struggled so much). I think the situation appealed to his sense of humor.  —  John Spiegel
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