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The Path to Modernity

collage of historical figures of Galicia

Gesher Galicia is pleased to offer this four-part online program hosted by Gratz College and open to participants from around the world. For beginners and seasoned family-history researchers, this adult continuing education course will explore the social and cultural transformation of Galician Jewry, drawing on unique material.

The Path To Modernity: The Jews of Galicia
Andrew Zalewski, M.D., Vice President of Gesher Galicia
Tuesdays and Thursdays: July 5, 7, 12 and 14

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm US ET
Class size is limited, so register early!

 



What drove Jews to have a participatory voice in the modern society? How did they respond to new ideas from within and without? Which laws misfired on their path to civil integration? We explore these questions with a focus on Galicia, home of the largest Jewish community within the Austrian Empire. Passing through European capitals, we witness the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah), and the controversies it provoked. Back in Galicia, home-reared intellectuals challenged the traditional community, while increasingly diverse cultural identities were embraced by 19th-century Jews. As a part of the continuum, the next century brought pressure to emigrate, WWI and the collapse of the old order. The course is illustrated by unique records, maps, and documents.
 

CLASS 1: DISAPPEARING COUNTRIES, NEW BORDERS, AND JEWISH COMMUNITIES
Where did Jews come from (Hebrew manuscripts and genetics)? Jewish communal autonomy in Poland. The partitions of Poland and their impact on the Jews. Traveling with the Habsburg emperor through Austrian Galicia, meeting the countess and Jews, visiting synagogues, and witnessing the transformation of Jewish lives (new names, military service, and more).

CLASS 2: JEWISH ENLIGHTENMENT (HASKALAH)
Before the Haskalah: cultural shock of Jewish students in Padua. Between Berlin and Vienna: a pamphlet about Jewish education and the fury it unleashed. The emperor and his Jewish school superintendent: the clash in Galicia. The Galician Haskalah: Jewish students at the university, vocal maskilim, and the literary messages with a local twist: what language is ours?

Class 3: JEWISH EMANCIPATION AND JEWS IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE
The reactions to the idea of Jewish emancipation on the streets of Vienna and Lemberg in 1848. The Polish-Jewish dialogue, Jewish petitioners from Galicia, first elections, and the violence. The impact of the emancipation of 1867: Jewish political associations and the press. Pioneering women exploring new opportunities: from Austria, through Switzerland and America, and on to Palestine!

Class 4: WORLD WAR I AND THE IDENTITY CRISIS
The transformative effect of WWI, with a half of Galician Jewry becoming uprooted from their homes facing deportations or escaping the Russian army’s advances. The collapse of Austria-Hungary exacerbated national conflicts and anti-Semitism: the war that did not end. The loss of belonging and the pressure to emigrate. Galician Jews’ contribution to the cultural and social revival of Poland in the aftermath of WWI.

ORGANIZATION
Before each module, participants will receive the prereading material. Attendees will be encouraged to familiarize themselves with basic sources (recommended reading). In addition, the list of optional secondary sources will be provided for use after the course. During each module, the following is envisioned:

  • at the beginning: learning objectives for today’s session (15 min)
  • review: illustrated didactic material (60 min) with a break (10 min)
  • discussion: the time reserved for participants’ interactions (20 min)
  • at the end: a recap of major themes covered and the plans for the next module (15 min)

Recordings of this course will be available for one week only.
$135

Register