Thursday, February 4, 2016


Jewish survivors of  the 1648 Chmelnitsky Massacres  settled  in  Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria following its annexation by Empress Maria Theresa in 1772.

1640 Lesser Poland
Yeshayahu A. Jelinek, Paul R. Magocsi. The Carpathian Diaspora: The Jews of Subcarpathian Rus' and Mukachevo, 1848–1948. East European Monographs (2007). p. 5-6.

During the period of Polish rule until 1772 Galicia was known as Little Poland which within the Jewish organizational framework of the *Council of the Lands formed one of the four "lands" (provinces). [Simha Katz]


Galicia eventually incorporated within the kingdom of Poland. In 1772,1793 and 1795, Germany, Austria and Russia partitioned Poland.

The Hapsburgs reigned Germany. Hapsburg rule extended to the north and northwest of the region. From 1803 Galicia formed a separate administrative unit (province).

At the time of the region's annexation to Austria in 1772, its Jewish population numbered 224,980 (9.6% of the total). Jews populated 187 cities, 93 small towns, and 5,467 villages.

At the annexation, the non-Jewish population of western Galicia was almost entirely Polish in 1776 (Jews constituted 3.1% of the population). Eastern Galicia was mostly Ukrainian (Jews, 8.7%). Six towns:  Brody , Belz , Rogatin , Peremyshlyany , Delyatin, and Sokal ) were almost entirely Jewish; Jews represented a a majoroity  in seven cities (including Lvov )

Initially, the Jews of Galicia continued in the framework of the socioeconomic structure of old Poland-Lithuania

The majority of Jews were retailers or craftsmen in household goods (textiles, sackcloth, and sail cloth) and the garment industry (as tailors, furriers, and hatters). Jews handled most of the import trade, Brody being a significant junctions.

Hapsburg Emperor Joseph II (1785–89) ensured protection for the Jewish community and also provided increased economic and social opportunities.

The *Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) entered Galicia in the early 1800s.  beginnings, Brody, its center produced Mendel Levin(Lefin), and J.L. Ben Ze'ev were its pioneers.

Jewish life proceeded as before with traditional Torah education in Galicia in the 19th century

Social life, however, became a continuous strife between mitnaggedim (Orthodox, non-Hasidic) and the Ḥasidim (and later between the Ḥasidim and the Haskalah).

Ḥasidism spread steadily in Galicia during the 19th century. Hasidism, among other things, charged Judaism with joy and emotion, dancing and singing.  Important Hasidic sects were Belz dynasty, 1816; Zanz dynasty, 1830; and the dynasties of the sons of Israel Ruzhin Sadgora (1855) and in Chortkov (1860).

The Orthodox opposed the Hasidim. It also opposed the Haskalah. However, the Haskalah movement fought back, making alliances with the state to hold the upper hand.

The Haskalah was influential in the large cities, e.g., Brody, Lvov, Ternopol, and Zholkva ,


The Galician Haskalah movement initially sought assimilation into German culture. In 1860s and the 1870s, however, it preferred assimilation into Polish culture.
The 1848 revolutionary parliament, which included three Galician Jews, rescinded the special taxes on the Jews and granted Jews equality of rights. At the end of 1851, however, the government revoked the constitution and restricted the civil rights of the Jews. In 1859–60, the government restored these restrictions on Jews were lifted.

In the 1860s, Jewish economic life improved. Some few Jews entered banking, large-scale export and import, manufacturing and the oil trade. From 1867, the number of Jewish estate owners grew markedly. Jews entered the civil service and the judiciary (in 1897 Jews constituted 58% of the civil servants and judges). However, the preponderance of Jews, felt only a slight economic improvement.

There were also attempt to bring Jews into agricultural life, with a modicum of success.

Assimilationists split between those tending to Polish assimilation (the Fraternal Society of Poles of Mosaic Faith and those tending to German assimilation (Shomer Israel (Guardians of Israel).
A number of monthly and weekly Hebrew periodicals circulated in 19th-century Galicia.
Between 1860 and 1880 anti-assimilationist movement appeared. Peretz  Smolenskin’s  Zionism emerged. In 1875, Glaicians estaBLISHED the first organized settlement of Palestine. In the 1880s, Ḥovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion) emerged.

The movement sought the gap produced by the growing antisemitism among the Poles.  In 1893, Catholic Church declared an economic boycott on Jewish sales and goods. From 1900, both Poles and Ukrainians excluded the Jews from merchandising of agricultural produce. In 1910, the government forbade Jews monopoly of selling alcoholic beverages resulting in 15,000 Jewish families losing their livelihood.

The boycott and economic pressure impoverished the masses of Jews in Galicia. In 1908 there were 689 cooperative lending funds, most established with the help of Jews abroad. Between 1881 and 1910, a total of 236,000 Jews emigrated from Galicia. This economic, social and political unrest affected the Zionist movement in local politics.  In the general elections of 1907, three movment enjoyed represetnedyion that was quickly dissip[ated by rival Jewsih and non-Jewish group[.

Indeed, the government canceled the licenses of 8,000 Jewish merchants of alcoholic beverages. Accordingly, 40,000 people suffered formn their lost of liveliohood.

In the latter part of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, the Jewish labor movement organized. Initally associated with the Polish Socialist Labor movement, it later broke off to form the Labor Zionist movement. Its firfst convention occurred in 1903, the second in 1904 created the Po'alei Zion (Socialist Workers Party).

Out of total number of 1700 of physicians in Galicia, 1150 were the Jews. 41 % of workers of culture, theaters and cinema, over 65 % of barbers, 43 % of dentists, 45 % of senior nurses in Galicia were the Jews. 2?200 Jews were the lawyers. For comparison, there were only 450 Ukrainian lawyers. Galician Jewry produced four Nobel prize winners: Izek Rabi (physics), Roald Hoffman (chemistry), Baschewitz - Singer (literature) and Shmuel Agnon (literature).
Both Ukrainians and Jews were not allowed by Polish government to work at the state enterprises, institutions, railway, post, telegraph etc.

Jewish Population in Galicia, 1857–1910

The Economic Structure of Galician Jewry, 1910

William O. McCagg, Jr. A History of HabsburgJews, 1670-1918. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989. xi, 289 pp.

In the popular perception, Galitzianers were considered to be more emotional and prayerful than their rivals, the Litvaks, who thought of them as irrational and uneducated. They, in turn, held the Litvaks in disdain.[6] This coincides with the fact that Hasidism was most influential in Ukraine and southern Poland but was fiercely resisted in Lithuania (and even the form of Hasidism that took root there, namely Chabad, was more intellectually inclined than the other Hasidic groups).
The two groups diverged in their Yiddish accents and even in their cuisine, separated by the "Gefilte Fish Line." Galitzianers like things sweet, even to the extent of putting sugar in their fish.
Bill Gladstone (10 September 1999). "This is no fish tale: Gefilte tastes tell story of ancestry". Archived from the original on 2004-03-08. Retrieved 22 December 

The dialectal differences that arose as a result of the speakers’ ancestral origins from different regions of Europe are not the only differences that arose from geographical regions. There are also cultural differences, including religious practices, traditions, manner of dress, cooking, music, etc.

A method of detecting galitzianers from Litvak s their language and their food.

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