Lunch and Learn: Jewish Galicia - Vibrant Past Rediscovered

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March 22, 2017

12:15 - 1:30 p.m
Gratz College

Learn how the Jews of Galicia (1772-1918) thrive and prosper during a wave of Jewish Enlightenment. The community comes alive: professionals, pious traditionalists, self-assured reformers, and dwellers of shetls and cities are heard in this narrative. The story of Galician Jews is the story of many contrasts: poverty mixing with opportunities and separateness with acculturation.

About the speaker: Andrew Zalewski is a physician and former Professor of Medicine at Jefferson University, Philadelphia, where he practiced cardiology and conducted research for about 20 years. Andrew has been passionate about bringing to light the story of Galicia. Several generations of his Jewish and Christian ancestors traced their roots to this former province of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empire. Despite a busy professional life, Andrew published two non-fiction historical books about Galicia where he weaves in unique and surprising discoveries about his genealogical research.


April 27: Rabbi Robert Layman
"What's in a Jewish Name?"

"What's in a Jewish Name?" consists of a survey of Jewish naming customs and superstitions, the origin and meaning of popular names, going back to the Bible,continuing into Rabbinic literature and the Middle Ages, and including modern Israeli names. We will also discuss Yiddish names popular among Ashkenazic Jews. Names are broken into several categories such as theophoric (containing one of the names of God), names based on flora and fauna, and those based on emotions or particular situations like the names of Jacob's sons. There will be ample time for a question-and-answer period.

May 24: Herbert Kaufman
"The Music That Got Us Through WWII"

World War II "was a glorious time for songs." Families depended on their radio for home entertainment.  During the war, radios were filled with new patriotic and sentimental songs; romantic ballads and many novelty songs reached the top of the music charts.  This was the era of the big band and many young vocalists became stars.  The program includes the music and songs of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Judy Garland, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, and many more. Using CD’s and highlighted by many original World War II era 78 rpm records -- patriotic music, sentimental songs, comic melodies and music that has been woven into the fabric of our American culture are presented. Learn about the composers, bands and singers that got us through the war.