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Jewish Galicia (1772-1918): Vibrant Past Rediscovered
June 14 @ 7:15 pm - 9:30 pm
Vibrant Past Rediscovered
Speaker: Dr. Andrew Zalewski
Temple Sinai, 210 Wilson Avenue, Toronto
Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Doors open at 7:45 p.m. (see details below for bonus workshop at7:15 p.m.)
This talk brings to life the Jewish community of Galicia. Personal genealogical discoveries are intertwined with a broader historical context. Coming from the outside of Jewish community, the imperial edicts are both stifling and inspiring—the laws about Jewish marriages, surnames, schools, military service, and land ownership bring dizzying pace of changes but also controversies. Coming from the inside of the community, there is a wave of the Jewish Enlightenment—biting satires by local Jewish cultural rebels are met with condemnations and counterattack.
The community comes across as vibrant and diverse: professionals, pious traditionalists and reformers, dwellers of shtetls and cities are heard in this narrative. Passionate arguments about language, customs, and loyalties easily erupt. But even in difficult times, there were brave voices that spoke loudly against prejudice.
Based on expanded research to the speaker’s recently published book, Galician Portraits: In Search of Jewish Roots, the talk is illustrated by many pictures, historical documents, and old maps of Galicia.
A Bonus Workshop By Dr. Zalewski
Navigating the Gesher Galicia Website
7:15 p.m. sharp, prior to the 8 p.m. presentation on June 14
Dr. Andrew Zalewski is a former Professor of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, where he practiced cardiology and conducted research for about twenty years. His Jewish and Christian ancestors trace their multigenerational roots to the former province of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empire. Zalewski has been passionate about bringing to light the story of Galicia. He has published two historical books, Galician Trails: The Forgotten story of One Family and Galician Portraits: In Search of Jewish Roots. He serves on the Board of Directors of Gesher Galicia, a non-profit organization dedicated to research of Jewish genealogy in the former Galicia. He is also the Executive Editor of The Galitzianer, Gesher Galicia’s quarterly research journal.