Normandy Cruise Faculty

In addition to a number of local historians and guides that will be with us in each city, we are pleased to announce that we will be adding the expertise of the following guests and entertainers to enhance your cruise and educational experience! 

Dr. Henry M. Abramson

 Dean Touro College 

Dr. Henry Abramson is a scholar known for his sophisticated yet accessible lectures on Jewish history, watched by thousands of viewers daily on YouTube. The author of seven books on Jewish history and thought, he earned his PhD from the University of Toronto and held visiting and post-doctoral positions at Harvard, Cornell, Oxford and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His teaching has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Excellence in the Academy Award from the National Education Association, and his research has been supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada, and many others. He has addressed popular and scholarly audiences around the world, and his work has been translated into several languages. He currently serves as Dean at the mighty Avenue J campus of Touro College in Brooklyn, NY. 

He has lectured widely on many topics and periods in Jewish history, including studies relevant to the history of the Jews of Spain of Portugal and their diaspora after the expulsions of the late 15th century.

Naomi Nachman

Naomi has become known as a Kosher food media influencer.  Famous for her own cooking show, Sunny Side Up, on the Kosher.com network and also hosts her own weekly show, “Table for Two with Naomi Nachman” on The Nachum Segal Network – in which discusses all food-related and travel topics.  In addition, Naomi writes a monthly column for the Mishpacha magazine covering food and travel her articles are called “Off the Eaten Track”, and is also a contributing editor to The Jewish Home newspaper for the last 13 years, distributed in many states across the country writing weekly recipes.

Naomi has also been a guest host on the QVC TV network and has made a variety of guest appearances on CBS TVNBC Morning NewsFox 5 New York, and the Hallmark Channel and has been quoted by the Forbes Magazine, Wall Street Journal on Jewish food trends. 

Naomi has published cookbooks, Perfect For Pesach and  Perfect Flavors selling more than 28,000 copies.

Naomi is often sought after to do cooking demonstrations, book signings and to produce Kosher Chopped-style cooking competitions across the world, where she shares her immense enthusiasm and passion for food.


Rabbi Irv Elson, CAPT, USN (Ret)| Vice-President

Director, JWB Jewish Chaplains Council

Rabbi Irving A. Elson was born in Mexico City, Mexico, in 1960. He was educated at Yeshiva University in New York, and earned his AA and BA in 1982, majoring in Psychology and Jewish Studies. He entered a Masters program at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, and was awarded an MA in Hebrew Literature in 1984. During this time, he also spent a year of postgraduate study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem from 1983-1984. The Jewish Theological Seminary of America ordained him a rabbi in 1987.

Commissioned an Ensign in the Naval Reserve in 1982, Chaplain Elson came on active duty in June of 1987. His assignments were as follows: Marine Corps Base, Camp S. D. Butler ( III MEF), Okinawa, Japan; Naval Station Charleston, S. C.; COMSIXTHFLT, Gaeta, Italy; Naval Education and Training Center, Newport, R. I.; Naval Recruiting Command, Area ONE, Scotia, NY; and as Staff Chaplain at the United States Naval Academy.

In August of 2002, Chaplain Elson reported for duty with the I Marine Expeditionary Force. In January of 2003, Rabbi Elson deployed to Kuwait and eventually Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom as Jewish Chaplain for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. As the only Jewish Chaplain serving with Marines in Iraq, and chaplain for 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, Rabbi Elson participated in numerous combat engagements throughout the conflict. Rabbi Elson returned to Iraq in September of 2004 where he served as Jewish Chaplain for IMEF during the Battle for Fallujah.

In June of 2005,Rabbi Elson became the Deputy Command Chaplain at the US Naval Academy. Rabbi Elson was selected for promotion to Captain in May of 2006. In July of 2007 he became the first Force Chaplain for Commander Naval Air Forces followed by an assignment in August of 2010 as Wing Chaplain, III Marine Aircraft Wing. Chaplain Elson returned to the I Marine Expeditionary Force as the Force Chaplain in November of 2012. During these last two tours, CAPT Elson made multiple deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In April of 2014 CAPT Elson was selected as Deputy Chaplain of the Marine Corps. Rabbi Elson retired from the Navy in December of 2016 after 35 years of faithful service.

Rabbi Shmuel (Stewart) Weiss

Rabbi Stewart Weiss was educated at the Bet Midrash L’Torah – Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, where he received his Semicha and degrees in Hebrew Literature and Practical Rabbinics.

Rabbi Weiss served in various pulpits and was head Jewish chaplain at Rush Medical Center in Chicago before making Aliyah in 1992. Rabbi Weiss founded and directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra’anana, offering religious and educational programs to olim.

Rabbi Weiss is a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and lectures frequently around the world. He regularly leads tours to places of interest around the world. He is also a member of the Ra’anana City Council.

Rabbi Weiss will take a leading role in our minyanim and Shabbat programming, and will offer several Torah-themed classes and activities on board.

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