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Henry The Refugee:
Henry Abarbanel
Karen Lockwood | Crest Road

Henry Abarbanel, a UCSD physicist and resident on Crest Road, ran in 1992 for City Council. I offered to walk with him as we distributed flyers to front porches.  I mentioned that I didn’t recognize the origin of his last name. He told me it’s Spanish.

“Oh, do you speak Spanish?” He laughed. “No one in my family has for 500 years.” I asked him to explain.

His family is related to Don Isaac Abarbanel (1437-1508) who was the Minister of Finance for Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. In 1492 the Jews were excluded by the Spanish monarchs as as being expendable. Don Isaac Abarbanel is considered as one of greatest Jewish statesmen in history. Professor Abarbanel now refers to himself, jokingly, as being a refugee from Spain.

Ed note: Henry Abarbanel’s significant contributions to Del Mar and the region include service as a City Councilmember (1992-1996 and 2000-2008), Chair of the San Diego Metro Wastewater Commission (2005-2008), and Board Member, San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (2011-present).



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