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Presenter: Sergey Kravtsov
Many prominent Galician Jewish families rooted themselves deeply in Jewish history, in local and regional cultural landscape. This was achieved by calculating and maintaining relations with other respected families, by founding and naming synagogues and charities, by donating, inscribing, and commemorative usage of ritual objects. The nineteenth century witnessed studies of cemetery epigraphs, Jewish biography, and critical historiography. On parallel with positivist narratives, however, Jewish family legends were constructed and circulated, particularly by the ennobled. While the positivist historiography saw these stories either as historically "true" or "false," new approaches allow to study them as Jewish temporal adaptations of international folkloric and literary motifs. These narratives, serving the families on their paths from the Jewish traditional to modern world, produced meaningful bonds with Polish, Austrian, and broader society. Spectacular examples of such stories are preserved in the memory of the interrelated von Mises, Nierenstein, Wahl, Herzenstein, and Lilien families.