Synagogue & Temple: Orthodoxy and Reform in Lvov #galicia

J.C.Keiner <j.c.keiner@...>

Since I put up an email asking if anyone had any information on the
Reform Rabbi Guttman of Lvov, related to my maternal grandmother's
family, whose existence my mother told me of, I've had some very
interesting emails and links to further information which I think most
of us with connections to Lvov/Lviv will find well worth reading.

Firstly, Nancy Fox kindly sent me this link:

which gives a history of the particularly beautiful Orthodox synagogue
in Lviv which a London synagogue has "adopted" and is raising money
to restore. The PDF has some very attractive photographs of the unique
painted interior, and its description of the city and the reviving Jewish
community make it a most appealing holiday destination. It does name
a Rabbi Joachim Guttman as a founder of the society which built the
synagogue--whether he could also have been related to my
grandmother's family, I don't know, but he's clearly not of the Reform

However, the PDF encouraged me to do a further web search, which led
me to this very interesting scholarly article on the history of Reform in
Poland, which, as the author, Professor Michal Galas of the Jagellonian
University says, is a very much neglected field, as it is usually assumed
that Polish Jews remained resolutely Orthodox, which of course the great
majority did.

The article gives an insight into the growth of Reform synagogues in
Poland pre WWII and the modifications of orthodox Jewish practice they
established in their communities in Warsaw, Lvov and Krakow. It names
an interwar Rabbi in Lvov as Rabbi Samuel Wolf Guttman, who is almost
certainly the cousin my mother told me of. Whether he was related to
Rabbi Joachim Guttman is an intriguing question-- but Guttman was a
fairly common name.

The article also discusses the influence some of these Polish Reform
adherents had subsequently in the US and elsewhere in Europe.

Wishing everyone a happy Pesach

Judy Keiner
London, England

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