The Jewish Doctor: A Brief History
In partnership with the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies of the University of Pennsylvania, as part of their current series of public programs, "It's (Not) All Academic: Changing the Jewish World Through Study, Past and Present". For many Jews, the Jewish doctor personifies success, but few realize the central importance of medicine in Jewish modernization. Physicians were important to politics as well as health in the 19th century, especially in Germany. Medical advice about such things as Jewish diet, childcare, and burial practices helped narrow the cultural gap between Jews and the rest of society, just as they were on the cusp of obtaining equal rights. This talk will explore how medicine helped to bring science to German Jewry, and more broadly, to shape modern Jewish culture. Professor John Efron of the University of California, Berkeley, specializes in the cultural and social history of German Jewry. His scholarship is focused on the ways that German Jewry has attempted to reinterpret and reinvent Jewish culture in the wake of its complex encounter with modernity. In particular, he has written on medicine, anthropology, and antisemitism. His books include Defenders of the Race: Jewish Doctors and Race Science in Fin-de-Siècle Europe, and Medicine and the German Jews: A History.
Date & Time
February 1, 2015
4:00PM - 6:00PM