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Andrew Zalewski is past vice president of Gesher Galicia and a frequent speaker at meetings of Jewish genealogical societies and cultural and academic institutions in the US and abroad. His interest and writings have focused on Jewish cultural transformation, educational access, modernizing impact of Jewish physicians, and Jewish political and legal rights in Galicia. Unique archival records—population surveys, maps, and old newspapers—provide the background for his in-depth description of Galicia.
He authored two books on Austrian Galicia: Galician Trails: The Forgotten Story of One Family and Galician Portraits: In Search of Jewish Roots, in which he traced the story of his ancestors in a historical context.
Andrew Zalewski is retired cardiologist and a former professor of medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. After leaving academic practice, he held executive positions in pharmaceutical industry, focusing on global collaborations to advance new healthcare solutions.
Join us for a fast-paced journey through the centuries of Jewish experience on the path to modernity. The talk untangles confounding borders of Eastern Europe and the ways how Jewish lives continued to evolve there over centuries. The narrative takes us from a traditional communal autonomy to the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah); and then, from increasingly diverse Jewish cultural identities and politics to pressure to emigrate and through the crisis of the First World War. We explore these topics with a focus on Austrian Galicia, home of the largest Jewish community within the Austrian Empire.
The family-history researchers will find several threads connecting the talk with genealogy: surnames, marriage laws, languages, interethnic relations, and schools just to name a few. The presentation—based on a four-part course by Dr. Zalewski at Gratz College—is illustrated by short biographical profiles, unique archival records, and maps.