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Jewish Physicians from Galicia

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Anatomy Building, UCL

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6XA

United Kingdom

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From the earliest times, Jewish physicians in Galicia played a unique role in their communities. At first, some of them ventured to Italy to receive university education, in the process gaining a broad social experience. After returning home, they often interceded with the external world on behalf of kahals. When the Enlightenment reforms opened education to Galician Jews in the Habsburg realm, they attended universities in Lemberg and Kraków, and also in Vienna and Pest. The nineteenth-century Jewish doctors embraced diverse cultural identities—their literary talents, expressed in German, Hebrew, and later in Polish, were noted both at home and beyond. They embodied Galician Haskalah, advocating religious and civic reforms. During Austrian Galicia (1772–1918), Jewish medical professionals (men and later women) were harbingers of the emancipatory changes. The talk will challenge stereotypes and probe internal debates in the community, with cultural trailblazers and rebels revealed through the records.


Speaker: Andrew Zalewski

A physician and former Professor of Medicine at Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Andrew Zalewski practiced cardiology and conducted research for over 20 years. Born in Poland, he has long been interested in the history of Austrian Galicia (1772– 1918) and its Jewish community. Several generations of his Jewish and Christian ancestors traced their roots to this former province of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empire. He is the author of 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, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the research of Jewish genealogy in the former Galicia. He is also Executive Editor of the Galitzianer, the organization's quarterly research journal.

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Anatomy Building, UCL

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6XA

United Kingdom

View Map

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