April 29 Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois meeting features 2 programs by Gesher Galicia board member Zalewski #general
Gesher Galicia board member and author Andrew Zalewski will give two
talks at a special meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of
Illinois on Sunday, April 29, 2018, at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road,
Northbrook, Ill. His first talk, "Gesher Galicia: What's New and What's
Coming Soon," will begin at 1 p.m. After a short break, his main talk,
"Galician Portraits: Jews, Gentiles, and Emperors," will be presented
beginning at about 2 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public. The JGSI library and help
desk will not be available for this special meeting. For more
information, see jgsi.org.
About the talks: The first talk, "Gesher Galicia: What's New and What's
Coming Soon," is an update about geshergalicia.org, its research and
resources, such as the All Galicia Database, Map Room, Inventories of
Records and more.
In his main talk, "Galician Portraits: Jews, Gentiles, and Emperors,"
Zalewski intertwines genealogical discoveries with a broader historical
context to bring to life the Jewish community of Galicia during the era
of Austrian rule. Galicia, annexed into the Habsburg Monarchy in 1772,
was home to a large Jewish community: Approximately 10% of the
population was Jewish.
Zalewski, author of two books on his Jewish roots in Galicia, explores
the impact of Habsburg rule and the "Jewish enlightenment." Habsburg
imperial edicts were both stifling and inspiring for the Jewish
community in Galicia -- the laws about Jewish marriages, surnames,
schools and military service brought dizzying changes but also
>from inside the community emerged a wave of the Galician Enlightenment
(Haskalah). Local Jewish cultural rebels offered biting satires and
wrote poetry. Galicia's diverse community included pious traditionalists
and impatient reformers, laborers and professionals, dwellers of shetls
and cities. Among them, passionate arguments about language (German,
Hebrew, Yiddish and Polish), customs and loyalties easily erupted. But
even in difficult times, there were brave voices that spoke loudly
Based on expanded research for the speaker's book "Galician Portraits:
In Search of Jewish Roots," the talk is of interest to general audiences
interested in Jewish genealogy and is illustrated by many pictures,
unique archival documents and old maps of Galicia.
About the speaker: Andrew Zalewski is a physician and former professor
of medicine at Jefferson University, Philadelphia. He serves on the
board of directors of Gesher Galicia Inc., a non-profit organization,
with a global membership, which has been dedicated to researching Jewish
genealogy in Galicia. He is also executive editor of the Galitzianer,
the organization's quarterly research journal.
Zalewski has 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 has published two historical books about Galicia: "Galician Trails:
The Forgotten Story of One Family" and "Galician Portraits: In Search of
Jewish Roots," which are available through amazon.com. Unique archival
records, population surveys, old newspapers and cadastral maps have all
provided important insights in Zalewski's research in regard to
governmental policies and the social fabric of Galician society at the
He has been a frequent guest speaker for Jewish genealogical societies,
at various cultural institutions, and in academic institutions in the
U.S. and abroad. He and his wife, Margaret, live near Philadelphia. They
have two children and four grandchildren. His hobbies include travel and
unearthing old records concerning Galicia, as well as writing about
little known details about Galicia.
CALENDAR OR TEMPLE BULLETIN LISTING: "Galician Portraits: Jews,
Gentiles, and Emperors" and "Gesher Galicia: What's New and What's
Coming Soon" will be the topics of two talks by Gesher Galicia board
member and author Andrew Zalewski at the Sunday, April 29, 2018, meeting
of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois starting at 1 p.m. at
Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. For more information,
see https://jgsi.org/event-2774541 or phone 312-666-0100.
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois